Catching up…a Sports Story

Traci S. Sanders

You know those kids that are natural-born athletes? I’m not one of them. Yet, even those who stay in the shadows have their day in the sun. And mine was in softball, specifically the summer of my 7th grade year.

It was a really hot day, nearly ninety degrees. My team had long ago given up on me adding to the lineup in any positive way. They simply wanted me to not mess up any potential wins, so I ended up in the outfield where the ball rarely flew or rolled.

On this particular day, the sun had it in for me. I couldn’t even see what was going on at home plate, let alone see a ball coming at me, so I waited…and waited. I didn’t care who won (we were ahead by one). I just wanted some shade.

Here’s what I remember: The other team was up. Two outs. I was looking at my feet so I didn’t have to stare at the sun. Then I heard the crack of the bat as it made contact with the ball and a lot of excited parents yelling from the stands. Darn…this could mean extra innings. I looked up, but I couldn’t see a thing with the sun directly in my eyes, so I put my hand up to block it and “Wham!” That ball ended up right in my sun-shielding gloved hand, and those happy screams coming from the stands – as opposed to moans – were for me. FOR ME! This was the greatest moment in my athletic history. I had stopped the team from catching up. I…Had…Won…The…Game!

And while no one yelled my name – I don’t think most even knew it – that’s okay. It was an instant of pure surreal joy. It was also when I made a life-changing decision. I’m done! Never again would I have a moment like this in sports. Never! This was retiring from sports on a high.

And so, my best moment in sports’ history was also my last. But, wow, was it a good one. A good one?! A great one!

Some games are like that.

Enjoy it all!

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