Friday, December 7, 2007

Summer Flashback

After a great presentation in my Media Law and Ethics class on Blogging and its effects on the journalism world, I was inspired to add to my own. I found a few pieces of paper in my old Whitecaps notebook, with a memoir scratched in pen from a day at Fenway Park. Here it is, a little easier to read than my doctoresque font.

The blazing sun beat down on the tiny field, with no apparent breeze. It was 10 AM, time for batting practice. Not early BP. Not even professional BP. It was a boring event to anyone who did not understand its implications. It was a tryout for a few ballplayers, but not just any ballplayers. Not just any team, either. To millions of people far and wide, Fenway Park is the greatest place on earth. To thirty-five Cape Cod Leaguers, it was a dream come true. These players, just ninety miles away from their home fields for the summer, were trying out for the Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox are a team with a quirky history. The Boston Beaneaters (as they were formerly called) were a team of hypocrisy for decades. Their former owner, a Hall-of-Famer held a tryout of his own once. A man named Jackie Robinson was never given a chance that day, along with two of his Negro League comrades. This day was much different.

Sixty years have passed since that fateful day. There are new owners and a completely different attitude. This was baseball in its purest form: just the crack of the bat, shagging fly balls, and the laid back feel of fielding in the sun. There were some nice plays in the field, with the Falmouth Commodores leading the way, but most of the attention was on the hitting.

The odds were against them making it to the big leagues, but they were also small that they would make it this far. Maybe one of them will make it, maybe more, maybe none at all. Maybe it’s Gordon Beckham, maybe Dennis Raben or Yonder Alonso. James Darnell impressed for sure, with his six homeruns. Buster Posey showed the most consistent hitting. Shane Peterson hit more line drives than anyone, and Brandon Crawford hit to all fields. Balls were hit onto and over the Green Monster. Homeruns straddled Pesky’s Pole. Even the triangle was full of batted balls, 420 feet from home. These were not the bats of David Ortiz or Manny Ramirez. Kevin Youkilis was nowhere to be found. These were hits form college players, ready for the opportunity to hit a Major League Homerun. They were not all successful.

Some of them got homeruns. Others fell inches short. Some did what they do best: go to the opposite field. All of them had a smile on their face, just happy to be at the park. That’s how baseball should be. A bunch of young men playing a child’s game, getting paid to have a good time. For some of the players on the field that day (we don’t know who), this day is only the beginning. For others, it is the beginning of the end, one last shot at a baseball career. For some, this day is nothing but a dream. But that’s how some of the best things in life end up being. This was one dream that was all it was cracked up to be.

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