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My Terror after School
The snow was melting. I was getting scared.. All I was thinking about from late 1963 to early 1964 was playing baseball. Weequahic High School's baseball season started today. It was still pretty cold. Like most high schools in the Northeast. Day one was in the gymnasium.
The date was sometime around March 15, 1964. This day could not have arrived swiftly enough. At last the day we started practice. I had the day circled on my calendar. Even if tryouts started outside in the snow, I would have been there. But they started in the gym, because it was too cold for outside baseball.
As I look back walking through the corridors of school on that first day of tryouts I was in a baseball befuddlement. I was like a baseball zombie. How would I hit today? Would I hit? How would I look? Would I trip over myelf? Hello. I did not want to embarrass myself. After school was where the phase of the daze turned into the hits and the mitts.
"Lets limber up those arms boys...” I heard Mr Ginsburg say, as he strolled out of his office. The coach had spoken. It was time to get movingl. My time to show them all what I had was here.
So I started playing catch. I was so excited to have a glove on and playing ball. The winter is always too long when you thirst to be playing baseball.
After tossing the pill around for a while it was time to hit. We had no pitching machine so we improvised. Now get this. The gym at Weequahic High had a regular sized basketball court. On both sides of the court there were two more basketball baskets. From each basket a rope was tied that hung to a height of about three to four feet above the floor. Got the picture? Attached to the end of the rope was a baseball. The rope went through the ball and out the other side of the ball. It was my turn to hit the baseball into the mat that was positioned up against the wall, under the basket. The ball hung about two feet from the mat.
I was nervous as I heard the coach tell us what to do. So simple a concept. Hit a ball into a mat. What if I messed up? Would I be cut so quickly?
Batting was it for me. If I couldn't hit this somewhat stationary ball - I should rest my bat in the bat rack forever. Fat chance of that happening. I hit the ball so hard the sound it made hitting the mat had everyone in the gym looking at me. Boom. I can still hear the echoes in the gym. My friend patted me on the back. and told me what a great job I did. I was relieved. Let’s move on to day two.
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About the Author: The great game of baseball. What could be better? Loving the game of baseball for Aron Wallad has been a job of joy for a long time. For over 45 years he has followed the game by coaching, watching games, reading stories and checking player’s stats. Playing baseball, softball and stickball were his games of choice. Join Aron as he looks at the game from some different points of view. You will find his stories moving. You will be amazed when you see some of the unusual statistics he presents. The quotes will move you or make you laugh.
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