#185 The Last Day of Summer

by James H. Biston

Cheers and taunts alike bellowed across the grassy lot where the neighborhood boys played baseball all summer long. The “hey batter-batters” were overwhelming as freckle-faced Sammy stepped up to the plate for the fifth time today. His cumbersome swings not only caused him to be picked last every game, but also usually resulted in a tipped foul ball; most of the time Sammy missed every pitch.

It was the last day of summer and the sun was rapidly setting behind an adjacent house. A lanky blonde teenager stood on the pitcher’s mound eyeing the batter. Sammy readied his swing as the ball flew from the pitcher’s hand and swiftly flew past Sammy’s bat. “Strike one!” several boys shouted. Sammy readied himself again. The blonde boy let loose the ball again and Sammy swung, the ball grazing his bat and tipping it over the catcher’s head. “Strike two!”

Sammy stepped away from the plate to coach himself; he would not strike out again, especially during the last game of the summer. He stepped back to the plate as the outfield resumed their taunts. The pitcher flung the ball, fast and straight. Sammy swung with all his might as the bat solidly connected with the ball. The ball soared high into the setting sun and crashed through a second story window of the adjacent house. Everyone but Sammy fled from the fear of discipline; he just stared and marveled at his first homerun.

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