Creative Writing: The Missed Fly Ball

It was only a fly ball, but I missed it. I missed a fly ball in the final
baseball game my 3rd grade year . It was a beautiful day, a few clouds covering
the extremely blue summer sky. It was very hot. I remember this because of the
tremendous amount of sweat that would run down my face while I stood out in
right field. When I heard that crack of the bat, all I could hope for was that
the ball would not come my direction. I have never had good luck, so the ball
was coming right for me. I didn\'t even have to move, all I did was put my glove
in the air and again hope it hit my glove. It did hit the glove but bounced
right out and behind me. Now all there was to do was pick up the ball and throw
it. It was not this simple for me. I turned around, bent down for the ball,
and after the third try successfully grabbed it and stood back up and prepared
to throw. Well the first thing that came to mind was just to fling it up in the
air and hope it makes it to somebody around the base runner. Considering my
previous luck, I just threw it to the first basemen. The throw was not any
better then the catch. It landed 5 feet short and by the time the first basemen
recovered the runner had rounded third base and was at least halfway home. The
runner did score on a close play at the plate. The run gave the other team a
two run advantage going into the sixth inning, which was the last in midget
league. I knew at this point I was going to have a hard time facing the other
guys on the team after this big let down. It also made me decide to quit
baseball all together. Since quitting baseball at such a early age I missed on
the opportunity to take part in what could have, at one time, been considered
America\'s Pastime.

Once a few years later I started to learn how to play basketball for the first
time. It was just a few friends and myself down at the park shooting hoops. I
wasn\'t terrible, considering I had never really played before. We played a few
games of Horse and a few other simple shooting games. I wasn\'t the best but I
wasn\'t always last. I was doing good until someone suggested we play twenty-one.
I was okay with the decision, but I had a gut feeling that I wouldn\'t do well.
It sparked my fear of putting myself in that vulnerable position, that leaves me
open for embarrassment and ridicule. The idea of missing another fly ball or
mispronouncing a word in front of anybody else makes me cringe. Living in
reality as it is, I have come to accept that a totally sheltered life is not
possible and that I will make mistakes and have to live with them. This game
required me to dribble the ball and run and shoot. The game had to many things
to do all at once. Out of no where John looks at me a yells, "Here Cliff you
break the ice." And he threw me the ball. I was so nervous I could not even
catch the ball. But then I had to ask, "Where do I shoot from?" I got all kinds
of strange looks, and John looked at me and said, "From the top of the key."
And I get this real blank look on my face letting every-one know that I was
totally clue less. I remember hearing "Give me the ball," and "Shoot the ball."
Dan said, "Just go to the foul line and shoot the ball." And that is just what I
did. I think it could have been considered the biggest air ball in the history
of the sport. For most of the game I just stood out of the way and watched.
The few times I did get my hands on the ball I would shoot an air ball, dribble
it off my foot or have it stolen. I ended up scoring once toward the end, but I
was still at the bottom of the pile.

I believe also that it has had an effect on my willingness to stay with
something until the end. For a very long time,