Coaches more times than not use their hearts instead of their heads to make toughdecisions. Unfortunately, this wasn’ t the case when l realized we had a baseball conference gamescheduled when our seniors would be in Washington, D.C. for the annual senior field trip. We werea team dominated by seniors, and for the first time in many years, we were in the conference racefor first place.l knew we couldn’ t win without our seniors, so l called the rival coach and asked toreschedule the game when everyone was available to play.
“No way,” he replied.The seniors were crushed and offered to skip the much-awaited
traditional trip. l assured them they needed to go on the trip as part of their educationalexperience, though l really wanted to accept their offer and win and go on to the conferencechampionship.But l did not, and on that fateful Tuesday, I wished they were there to play.
l had nine underclass players eager and excited that they finally had a chance to play. Themost excited player was a young mentally challenged boy we will call Billy.Billy was, I believe,overage,but because he loved sports so much, an understanding principal had given himpermission to be on the football and baseball teams. Billy lived and breathed sports and now hewould finally get his chance to play.I think his happiness captured the imagination of the eightother substitute players. Billy was very small in size, but he had a big heart and had earned therespect of his teammates with his effort and enthusiasm.He was a left-handed hitter and had goodbaseball skills. His favorite pastime, except for the time he practiced sports, was to sit with the menat a local rural store talking about sports. On this day, I began to feel that a loss might even beworth Billy’ s chance to play.
our opponents jumped off to a four-run lead early in the game,just as expected.Somehow we came back to within one run, and that was the situation when we went to bat in thebottom of the ninth.l was pleased with our team’s effort and the constant grin on Billy s face. lfonly we could win… thought, but that’ s asking too much. lf we lose by one run, it will be avictory in itself. The weakest part of our lineup was scheduled to hit, and the opposing coach puthis ace pitcher in to seal the victory.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.