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A Night At The Ballpark Essay, Research Paper

A Night at the Ballpark What a great night, my dad said to me. It was cool and calm and I could see every star in the sky. My dad and I were camping at Tims Ford Lake where we had just got a piece of land. I felt as light as a feather even though I had lost the biggest baseball game of my life earlier that night. I had realized that no matter how many times I failed that my father loved me unconditionally. It was a hot, muggy, August day in 1990. I was nine years old and getting suited up for the last Little League Majors game of the season. I was a little nervous before I went through my pre-game ritual. It always seemed to calm me down. I would get my uniform on about two hours before the game then I would throw a tennis ball against our back wall while talking to my dog, Bennie, about the game. Bennie always tried to get the ball before it came back to me but he was too fat and slow. After I threw the ball for about ten minutes I would go inside and play RBI Baseball on Nintendo to get psyched up. I was always played as the Braves, our Little League team, and I always played against our opponent that night. Doing the same thing before each game always seemed to calm me down and prepare me mentally for battle. We were playing against the Pirates; they had the same record as we did. We were playing for the league championship. My dad was our coach and he said that if we won the game that he would take me camping for the first time. I had never been camping because dad said, You are way too young to be out in the wild with bears, snakes, coyotes and such. This normally scared me into agreeing with him. The game started at 6:00 at night and I was ready to go. I started the game at pitcher and through the fifth inning I had only given up five hits and no runs; however, my team had not scored any runs either. It was all tied up in the last inning and I was first up to bat. The knots in my stomach seemed unbearable. I tried to drink some water before I went out, but I could not even swallow. I walked up to the plate very slowly and deliberately. Somehow when I walked slowly to the plate it seemed like it made the pitcher more nervous than I was, or at least it made me think that. I took my stance and rubbed some dirt on my hands. The knots had all dissipated and I was relaxed. The first pitch came and I hit a long shot to centerfield. As I was rounding first I saw my dad at third base telling me to keep running. It was the look on his face that I remember the most vividly. He was so proud I could see it in his mouth and eyes. When I am mad at him I think of that sparkle he had in his eyes that night. I remember how proud of me he was and it always cheers me up. We scored two runs and entered the bottom of the sixth with a commanding lead.We were back into the infield and I was pitching for the win. I was glad we were ahead because I was not nervous at all. I felt relaxed and carefree. On the way to the mound I stepped over the foul line, like I always do. I could hear my family in the stands cheering for me and it felt good. I struck out the first two batters and then gave up two singles. We had two outs and the winning run was up to bat. The batter was my best friend, Stephen Cutter, he was a pretty big kid and he could hit well. He looked at me and cut his eyes and I gave him a hard stare. I was very competitive and I always wanted to strike out my best friends. I through two hard strikes down the middle followed by two curveballs in the dirt. He did not swing at any trash so I threw him another fastball; he proceeded to smack it over the centerfield fence for the win. I was in shock, I felt like someone had just slapped me in the face. I turned very pale and just walked towards the dugout. I shook the other team s hands, like a wet newspaper, and I walked back to the dugout without any words. I blamed myself totally for losing the game and I felt horrible. I did not want to talk to anyone about it. I asked my dad if I could just walk home from the field, it was only five blocks. Usually he would say no because I had to cross a big road, but he said that it was okay this time.

I walked slowly because I did not want to go home. I thought that my dad would be mad at me, and I was sure he would be disappointed in me. It was on the way home that I realized that I would not be able to go camping. During the game it had not even crossed my mind, but now it hit me like a rock. I thought about how bad I had wanted to go camping, because it would have been my very first time. I was so depressed that I sat down on the curb and cried for about five minutes. Then I thought that my parents might get worried so I continued walking. It was hard to walk because I could not take deep breaths. When I got home I went straight to my room to hide the fact that I had been crying. My mom came into my room and asked if I was all right and told me I played a good game, but it did not help any. My mom always told me that I played a good game, but I always wanted to hear it from my dad. She told me that dad had wanted to see me when I got home. I walked out back to talk to my dad, and I was expecting him to tell me to go to bed because we were no longer going camping. On the contrary and to my delight he was loading his truck with our big tent. I ran to him and gave him a big hug. The first thing he said to me was, You played a good game son, and it is too bad we lost. He asked me why I was crying and I said, because I thought that you would be mad at me and because I was not going to get to go camping. Then he said, Well I guess you don t have any reason to cry anymore. Then he told me to go inside and get ready to go. I showered and packed my bags quicker than I ever had in my life. I was excited that we were going camping, but I was more excited that my dad was still proud of me after I lost the game. I had my first experience of unconditional love. Actually my parents had always loved me unconditionally, but I had always taken it for granted. After that baseball game was the first time I had ever realized how much my parents loved me. Since that night I have known that my parents love me with all of their heart no matter what I do or how well I do it. Granted if I apply myself and try my hardest they will be very impressed. But if I do not they will do whatever it takes to help me learn how to be motivated and apply myself. My parents love me no matter what happens and I love them for this I always looked up to my father, but after that night I realized that my dad is the most important man in my life, and will be until I have a son of my own

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