To be given the chance to play little league was one of the greatest times of my life. I played little league for four years, and every year I made the all-star team. My best friend and I played on every regular season team and every all-star team together. The final game of our career was unforgettable.
It had been 4 years of great enjoyment with my best friend, Cody Smith. We always clowned around in practice, but when the game would start we had a high intensity. Cody would pitch, and I would play second base. When he wasn't pitching, I would, and he would play third base. We were the top players in little league, or so we thought.
Our all-star team had made it to the championship of our state tournament. Before our team took the field our coach John Zamouski gave us a talk. He said, "Well men, we've came a long way. Today's the day we've all practiced so hard for, but I want to have fun with it. Lets treat this like every other game we have won. You're all winners, win or lose. I want you all to know that I feel privileged to have coached such a fine bunch of men. So lets go out and play this game as hard as you can. What do you say, lets go have FUN." We all got up and yelled, "YEA." "Let's play hard." "Yea" As we all got more pumped up. "Who are we?" "N.I." As we got more loud and more intense. Coach said, "Bring it in. Win on 3. One, two, three" as we all yelled together "WIN."
As I ran on to that field I recalled all the practicing I had done, and I knew I owed most of it to my father. He started me throwing and hitting when I was about four-years-old. As my passion grew more and more I wanted to go practice all the time. So I would ask my father to practice with me. Even though my father was tired or in the middle of a good TV show he would practice with me. I remembered my father sitting on an old milk crate while I pitched to him. This made me chuckle a little because I would throw a low wild pitch on accident that would hit him in the legs, but he kept positive.
Cody was pitching a 3 hitter and I was playing well too. The score kept going back and forth. There were a lot of errors because the field was all dirt and felt like concrete, the ball was taking bounces I had never seen before. The final inning came around and we were down by 1 run with 2 outs when I came to bat. There was no one on base and the pitcher had 2 strikes on me. The next pitch seemed like it took forever. The pitcher pitched the ball right down the middle of the plate. I waited on the ball and hit a screaming line drive into left-center for a stand up double. Then Cody came up and hit the first pitch for a 2-run homerun for us to take the lead by 1. The next batter grounded out to end the inning, but the damage had already been done. We took the field and Cody was still pitching. The first batter hit a double and then stole to advance to third base. Cody then struck out the next two batters. Their were two outs and a runner on third base. Before Cody pitched that next ball I knew every player on our team told themselves that they would do whatever it took to get that next out. So when the ball was pitched and hit to me I was determined to get the out. The ground ball took a bad bounce and hit me square in the ribs. I picked up the ball, which was to the left of me. I spun around and threw that ball with all my power to first base. The ball reached the first basemen's mitt a half step before the runner made it to the base for the third out and the championship.
Getting the chance to play with my best friend and winning the state championship was everything I had ever wanted then. Having such a great and inspiring coach made me feel proud to have won the championship for our coach. As for my father, I know he was proud, and I was grateful for all the time and effort he had spent with me. I know I will remember my final game, and all the people that made my little league career so great for the rest of my life.