Tuesday, March 20, 2012
How many moments in your life have there been where you’d like to get a “Do Over”? Remember those? One more chance to change the outcome. One more shot at something or someone to make whatever turn out differently. There is one moment in my life that I still have dreams about getting a “Do Over”. Actually there are a lot of moments in my life I still have dreams about I'd like to do over, but this one pops up pretty regularly. I’m twelve years old and my little league baseball team is in the city playoffs. We’re playing South Side Shell. Now, imagine hearing that name again…South Side Shell…only this time it’s with James Earl Jones’ voice complete with Darth Vader echo. Not only are they all big and scary, South Side Shell shows up wearing full uniforms. Not kidding…full uniforms including socks and spikes. We had blue shirts with white numbers and bring your own hats. Some of us had socks…none of us had spikes. Their coaches even had full uniforms. Our coach was our first baseman’s big brother and he was wearing a “Wonder Bread builds strong bodies twelve ways” T-shirt. After watching them go through batting practice and some infield stuff, most of us were pretty sure they were actually a farm team for the Cleveland Indians. We played them pretty tough though. And the score was actually tied going into the bottom of the ninth inning. So, here comes the moment. Bottom of the ninth, they’re up with two outs and a man on third. I’m playing third so I’m not too far away from Mr. South Side Shell…and his full uniform. A huge, they said he was thirteen, but I saw the five o’clock shadow, kid steps up to the plate. The full uniform on third looks over at me spits and whispers, “Game over rookie”. I give him my best snarl and spit right back. It landed on my shoe. Here’s the pitch…and with a vicious crack of the bat here comes the ball…right back at me. I’m not sure if I closed my eyes or not, but dangit…I caught the ball. I spun…set my feet…and threw it twenty feet over the first baseman’s head and into the bleachers. Game over. And even though the ball did manage to hit the kid who stole my best girl at the roller rink the night before…I still dream about getting a “Do Over”.