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One Glorious Moment

I would walk out onto a major league baseball field for the first time and hear what every little kid dreams about: “Now batting, in his major league debut-KYLE SHIPP!”

I had a memory hit me the other day that felt like more than a memory.  Really it’s a group of memories that have come together to form an association.  I coach baseball and teach private lessons on the side.  I was throwing the ball one day with one of the young men I work with when I had an unusual sensation hit me.  He was standing in the outfield about 150 feet from me and as he threw ball its trajectory took it above the fence-line as it was in the air.

Where I live winter weather can be chilly to some degree, but it’s typically sunny and blue.  As the ball carried toward me I saw it outlined only by a blue sky and, for one glorious moment, I was 13 again throwing with my dad and my little brother on the field at the college where my dad worked.

We grew up in a coaching family, so baseball was what we did in the spring and summer and getting ready for baseball was what we did in the winter.  Christmas breaks were nice because, with my dad working at a college and us being on Christmas break, we would go to the field just about everyday.

We grew up in a coaching family, so baseball was what we did in the spring and summer and getting ready for baseball was what we did in the winter.

To be honest, I always thought that I was preparing for a life of baseball.  I didn’t really have a doubt in my 13 year old mind that I would one day be a professional baseball player.  Each day that we went to the field was a day that I was preparing for the day that I would walk out onto a major league baseball field for the first time and hear what every little kid dreams about: “Now batting, in his major league debut-KYLE SHIPP!” The crowd would cheer and in that one glorious moment I would be on top of the world, right where I was destined to be.

And suddenly I was back to myself; correcting something in my pitchers’ motion that I needed to address.  My glorious moment didn’t come in the form of a roaring crowd, but it came in the form of a memory that felt like more than a memory.  The feeling of that memory didn’t subside when my focus shifted.  The longer I stayed at the field the more intense that feeling became.

I realized that my 13 year old self was so focused one that one future glorious moment, but the glorious moment wasn’t something not yet accomplished; rather it was what I was doing right then and there.  As my brother and I got older we started going out to the field on our own.  Sometimes we asked Dad to come, sometimes we reveled in the freedom of age and went off by ourselves.  Playing catch with my dad at Old Red Murff Field may not have been what I thought I would take away from my baseball career…but it’s the moment that sticks with me the most now.

Playing catch with my dad at Old Red Murff Field may not have been what I thought I would take away from my baseball career…but it’s the moment that sticks with me the most now.

I’ve got a son now.  He’s 6.  I know he dreams of the day when one day his name will be called as he steps to the plate for his first major league at bat.  And that will be wonderful.  But for now, I think I’ll settle for that glorious moment that he looks back and remembers when we played catch in December.

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