Instructor: Jennifer Seward
The Love For The Game
The Love For The Game
"Finally," I muttered to myself as I sighted Jack casually exiting his dad's 2092 Rolls Royce and grabbing his equipment from the back. Jack, who always has new equipment that I can't afford, is fond of playing baseball just like me. Since we met on a Little League team, we've bonded and have been playing the game together.
Like always I noticed that Jack is doing his typical goofy stretches.
"Hurry up, Jack!" I yelled, shaking my head as I watched him arch his back.
"Come on, Julian, you know that I have to keep myself from getting hurt," Jack replied.
I rolled my eyes and signaled for him to keep going. I didn't want to waste time during our last practice together before the championship game. As he was doing so I announced our plan for practice: play catch, take some batting practice, and then pitch against each other.
During batting practice, which was after we warmed up our arms by playing catch, he told me to wait a second. He walked to grab something from his baseball bag. He pulled it out, and I spotted a thin pair of clear glasses that looked almost like the transparent water of the ocean. As he put them on, it seemed as if the glasses were invisible because of how thin they were. He then proceeded to walk slowly to the plate. Pitch after pitch, Jack destroyed the ball.
Jokingly, I asked, "Do these special glasses give you superpowers or something?"
Jack's response was a calm, "Yes, they do, actually."
"Yeah, right. You're such a goofball. Let me try them on, then," I said confidently.
"Only if you are careful with them," he stated.
I shook my head. "All right, I guess. It's always something with you, Jack,"
I snatched the glasses, quickly put them on, looked into the sun, and almost burned my eyes.
"Jack!" I yelled. "These glasses of yours don't even work."
"Oh, sorry! I forgot to tell you to press the button on the side. You'll see," he said.
"Yeah, yeah," I replied mockingly as I searched for the button.
I found it, pressed it, and witnessed the most fascinating features ever. On the top right corner I could see the velocity and type of pitch that was coming in. In the center was the whole analysis system displaying everything else. Putting the glasses in stats mode told me everything I needed to know about a certain player's skill level. It also showed me where a ball would land when it was being hit or thrown.
For a time I used the glasses while Jack threw pitches to me. I felt like nobody could stop me, like I was the best player in the world. I slammed almost every pitch over the fence and finally achieved my goal of hitting the ball at eighty mph. The game felt easy. Jack, on the other hand, looked frustrated.
"These glasses are amazing," I said to him as we headed home.
"I know, but please don't mention this to anyone," he begged. "My dad would kill me. He doesn't want anyone to know we have them."
"Sure thing," I said.
It was an exciting day. The day of the championship game against our rivals. As I was hanging my baseball bag on the fence and grabbing my glove, Jack came up to me, offering me the special glasses.
"My dad got you a pair," he said.
For a minute I thought it over. "I want those glasses so bad, but do I really need to cheat like that?" I thought. "But if I say no, I'd be passing up a chance to help us win." I kept arguing with myself in my head. Finally, I decided I would not accept the offer because of my passion for the game and how disappointed my parents would be if they found out I cheated. I explained all this to Jack. Thankfully, he understood. As we started our warm up before the game, I noticed Jack hadn't been wearing the glasses, either, which was the right thing to do of course.
The game was embarrassing. Less than halfway through, we were down 5-0. Jack and I weren't playing so well, both of us missing easy fly balls in the outfield and striking out. The thought of using the glasses had almost taken over.
"Let's use them," Jack urged.
"Maybe," I replied. "Let's wait until the fifth inning and see what happens."
Jack nodded his head and I hoped for the best.
It was the bottom of the fourth, and the game was still not going our way. The score was 5-1. Jack grabbed his helmet and batting gloves off the bench, heading up to bat. I stopped him and told him that we should put on the glasses. He agreed and pointed toward his bag.
"Under there. I've already got mine," Jack said, pulling them out of his pocket. I reached in his bag, pulled out the case and opened it. I pressed the button on the side, activating the glasses, and waited for Jack to hit so I could go on deck. Jack ripped a triple. My teammate then hit the ball up the middle, scored a run. Now it was my turn to shine.
The first pitch was thrown. The glasses told me to not swing, so I didn't.
"Ball one," the umpire said.
The next pitch flew in the air and the glasses said this was the perfect pitch. Right down the middle. I swung, feeling the ball smack the bat. I watched as the ball sailed over the fence.
At the end of the game, we won. I walked to the dugout with my head down as I saw my team celebrating and Jack holding the trophy. But I didn't celebrate. I felt too guilty. Everybody was telling me how great I was. But it wasn't me. It was the glasses.