Baseball Moon

Today’s moment is brought to you by heat exhaustion. I was 63, in full catcher’s gear in 95-degree heat late in the game—oh, and this is hardball.  I’m in the squat. The pitcher supposedly hurled for the Baltimore Orioles decades ago. His ball still moves. I start to see stars. Strike One, a fastball right down Broadway. I didn’t have to move my mitt and that’s the problem. I call for a curve and shift the mitt to the right edge of the plate. The ball is delivered like the previous one, right down the middle. I see it coming. I see the spin. I can’t move my glove even though I know I have to move it–this less than a second moment has become a stop action visual—the off-white ball, tinted with clay, about ten feet away, hangs there like a full moon over the desert.  I talk to it and ask it why am I here? And it answers: Plunk One, fastball off the catcher’s mask. More stars. I stand up and feel someone hold my arm. I’m out of the game. But the moment is still with me. Gamer!

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