Two Pitches

(Stories from my side of the field Part 1 and Part 2 here) I throw another hand full of seeds into my month and wrap my jacket tighter around me. Man it’s cold today…wish the wind would quit blowing….I’m freezen! We’re in the second game of another weekend doubleheader at home. We’re up by a run going into the 7th inning. As cold as I am I can’t believe she’s still here, in the stands, watching this game. Why doesn’t she go sit in the car? Or why is she even still here? She sits there huddled in her blanket by herself, just watching. She likes baseball….or so she tells me. She comes to every game she can, and even some she can’t by rearranging her work schedule and having someone cover for her at Olive Garden so she can be here…..sitting in the stands, on hard bleachers….watching me…..sit here on this hard bench spitting seeds. That’s the thing about being a relief pitcher, you do a lot of sitting around, a lot of watching baseball rather than playing it, and a lot of charts…..so many charts. Yet she sits there, willing to watch and wait to see if this is the game I’ll play in. I can tell she’s cold, heck she’s always cold, but today it’s freezing. We’ve only known each other for 3 months, happened to take a couple classes together last quarter and then ended up signing up for extra credit in biology by going to elementary schools and teaching kids about microscopes. That’s where we met…..in our professor’s car full of microscopes on the way to an elementary school. We started talking, and have been talking ever since. There’s nothing romantic about it, we’re just friends….good friends, and as good friends do she’s her to support me…..sitting on this bench….chewing on some sunflower seeds. “Utecht! You’re up!” I look down toward the dugout where the pitching coach is standing making the number 1 with his left hand and number 2 with his right to indicate my number. He then gives the sign that means hurry up and get warm. I peel off my jacket and instantly the numbing cold that has been slowly making its way into my bones the past 16 innings of sitting here is gone, replaced with a rush of adrenaline. I grab my mitt drop it on the mound and...

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