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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
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