Winning the Game

3 Aug

by Jim Holtzman

Thursday, August 7th, softball season has reached its final day.  A beautiful day by most standards finds the Pointers in the championship game, which comes as a pleasant, unexpected surprise to most, including the members of our team. The Pointers have managed three victories in the last four seasons combined, this year we notched 7 victories.  Maybe destiny as well as the sun will shine on us today.

The obstacle that stands in our way to the trophy, the first for us in 14 seasons, is the hated Mustangs, a team that we have been battling and losing to as long as anyone can remember finished with a perfect 10-0 2014 season. The excitement on our sideline was loud and contagious, regardless of what seemed like insurmountable odds. We know that we are going to win!

When the starting line-up is announced, I’m not terribly surprised by the fact my name is missing, at this point of my life and career, a softball diamond is probably not the safest place for me. It has taken me some time to accept a lesser role on the team but as long as my beer is cold I manage to.

The game is tied 4-4 in the seventh and last inning. There are 2 outs, but the Mustangs have two base runners   with their best player up to bat. Johnny O hits a line drive toward our pitcher Mike. He is only able to get one hand up. The ball bounces off Mike’s hand, breaking his index finger in the process; it goes right to our second baseman Bobby for the third out. Divine intervention showed up just at the right time for us.

Mike was due to lead off our half of the seventh inning but with his broken finger he could not, although he tried to convince our coach Philip otherwise. We only needed one run. Philip told me to grab a bat, I was going to hit for Mike. To say I was surprised wouldn’t even begin to describe my thoughts and emotions. There were 4 other players, all of whom, well let’s be honest, are better than me, were on the bench, but Philip had a hunch.

I hit the ball hard but unfortunately it was right at the third baseman, but he bobbled it. Divine intervention strikes again. In his haste to make up for his error, he threw the ball over the head of the first baseman. I was standing on second base. Davie, usually one of our better hittersm struck out swinging. Ray popped up to the pitcher.  I’m still at second.  Philip hit the ball to the left fielder on one hop. I was going to score no matter what. It was my turn to be the hero! The ball arrived at the plate at the same time I did. On my head first, slide the catcher’s knee and my face collided, everything went dark.

The game’s outcome depends on the umpire’s call, but I don’t hear or see anything. I lay on the ground for what seemed like an eternity. What’s the call? Who won? I need to know! Wake up!

Finally, I start to hear a voice, but it’s not the umpire, nor any of my teammates. I’m not sure who it belongs to.  I struggle to recognize the voice. It’s familiar but I still am not certain, I know that I have not heard it in a long time, a woman’s voice becomes clearer: you’re safe at home says my mom. Welcome to heaven, your dad and I have been waiting for you.

Jim Holtzman is a volunteer and participant of the Words Wide Open writing workshops at Second Sense blind service organization.  He just keeps getting better!

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One Response to “Winning the Game”

  1. audreydemmitt August 5, 2014 at 10:29 AM #

    Jim-this is an awesome piece! I was enjoying it, imagining it, and getting excited for the result and then whammo! What a great ending! Well done…keep writing!

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