I always hated pitching in baseball, but I could throw kind of hard so they kept putting me on the mound. During a game against Sacramento High, I walked a guy and then hit two batters in a row. The whole crowd was staring at me, the batter I hit was pissed, and now the bases were loaded with no outs.
The coach came to the mound to talk to me. I was relieved thinking, “thank god he’s taking me out.“ He said, “you’re aiming it Robert. Just let it fly and throw it as hard as you can.” I said, “maybe you should just take me out. I don’t have it today.” He replied, “you’ll be fine.” I nodded my head thinking, “he’s right, I am aiming it. I should just let it fly.” Then he walked away from the mound clapping and making a fist, “you can do this.”
The next batter stepped up to the plate and I looked around to see the bases loaded. I could tell that two of the runners were still mad I just hit them, but this was my moment of overcoming adversity that you see in every movie. I stood on the rubber and got the sign from my catcher…fastball down the middle. I nodded, adjusted my grip, took a breath, and started my wind up. I kept thinking about what my coach said, “just let it fly and throw it as hard as you can.” This was my time to become the hero I was destined to be. I cocked it back and threw it as hard as I could. Strike! Right down the middle.
Nope. That’s not what happened at all. Life isn’t a Mighty Ducks movie. I threw that ball as hard as I could and it hit the batter right in his head. He was livid. He slammed his bat to the ground, threw his helmet, started pointing, and yelling at me. The umpire held him back and gave me a warning.
I kept thinking, “dude, I didn’t do it on purpose. Why would I hit three batters in one inning? I just walked in a run. It’s only the second inning and now we’re losing. You saw my coach just come and talk to me. You think he said, “hey, maybe it’d be a good idea to hit the next guy too.” The coach came back out to the mound walking with his head down and said, “welp, that didn’t work. Maybe you were right, today isn’t your day.”