I grabbed my bat and began to take some practice swings before I approached the plate. Chad looked me in the eye to say, “You! I expect nothing less than a home run from you,” he smirked.
“I can’t make any promises,” I shook my head, self-conscious.
“You can make ‘em you just can’t keep ‘em,” he shot back. As I approached the plate I heard Chad’s words of encouragement from behind the fence. “Use your speed, bulldog,” he called to me. As soon as the ball hit the bat he was calling after me again. “Through the bag, through the bag!” I bolted over the plate and straight for first. I was about halfway there when I noticed the first baseman standing right in my baseline.
Chad called after me one last time “Straight through him too!” So I took his advice and charged right through the first baseman. As we both struggled to get back on our feet, the player questioned my logic.
“What the heck was that?” he asked in anger.
“You can’t stand in the baseline buddy,” Chad confirmed as he approached the base to coach me from there.
Kelly is next in line to bat and gets in position. I cheer her on from first base while listening to my favorite teammate’s coaching.
“If that ball is in the air you know just to take three steps until it’s caught or drops” Chad advises me. “If it’s a grounder, you run all the way.” I nod in agreement.
“Bases loaded, gang,” I call out before Kelly takes her first swing. The ball is catapulted through the air. I took my three steps and waited. It drops right in between the pitcher and second baseman.
“That’s your’s,” Chad called after me, but I was already halfway to second. When I got there I saw out of the corner of my eye, that the second baseman had missed the catch when the pitcher threw it to him. Now the second baseman was running into the outfield to retrieve it. I knew that was my chance to steal but it was risky. I took a glance at Chad who boosted my confidence a bit with a nod. I took the opportunity and darted to third. He used those long legs of his and managed to arrive at the other end of the field next to third base just in time to cheer me on and see me dive into third. The second baseman had finally retrieved the ball and was ready to throw it to third, but I was already there.
Chad was truly shocked “Way to run, gazelle!” He helped me up and asked “Now when do you run this time?”
“If it’s a grounder or when it drops,” I triumphantly responded.
“Great” he gave me a thumbs up. “It’s all you, bulldog.”
“Bring me home Tom!” I call to the next batter who nods back in my direction.
Tom catapulted the ball high up in the air but in this case that wasn’t a plus. The right fielder happened to be paying attention and easily grips the ball in his glove. I thought back over what I had told Chad and stayed on base. I turned to him to clear things up.
“That’s the second out so now I run on anything, right?” I ask.
“Impressive,” Chad smirks.
Gabby whacks one high up into the air too but it’s drop is too steep to be caught and it drops in the outfield. That didn’t matter though because I was running on anything. I slide into home because the pitcher had gotten a hold of the ball and was ready to tag me. In the process I had scraped up my knee a little but it was all worth it because of all the compliments and high fives from my team as I hobbled back to the dugout. We won the game that day and I can only thank Chad for my success and some of the other’s. It’s times like these when we really begin to appreciate certain people in our lives. All they have to do is put you in a situation where they have to save the day and you have them to be thankful for.