Thursday, January 26, 2006
Day 4-The Day I met Gary Carter...
The day starts off innocently enough in our first game, as we play our usual see-saw battle scoring 4 in the first and giving up 3 in the bottom of the inning. The umpire is making horrendous calls, strikes on pitches as high as our neck, and out calls when the runner was clearly safe. Suddenly we notice Hall of Famer, Gary Carter, walking the fields and entering our dugout. He shakes all our hands and asks for a game synopsis. He watches us bat for half and inning and witnesses another one of our runners get called out at first, when he appeared to be safe. I begged Carter to appeal for us, he turned around as he was leaving our dugout, and said we were screwed. This game I came up to bat with 2 outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd. I hit a slow roller to 3rd and sprinted to 1st to try to beat it out. I hit the base then heard the ball hit the glove. Next thing I hear is the umpire yelling "He's OOOOUUUT". I yell a scream of no, and run to the fence to collect myself. After throwing the helmet back to the rack, and yelling a few explicatives to the umpire, the game continues, and we win again! 3 in a row now! Now comes the complications, there were 3 teams tied with a 3-2 record, so to determine who would play the 4-1 team for the championship they put the 3 teams with identical records in a hat and pull out our team's name. That means we get a bye and the other 2 teams play each other in an extra innings type game, where if either team has the lead at the end of an inning they win, and play us in the same style game to determine the challenger of the 4-1 team. Two innings later, we play the winner. We hold them in the top of the first, then our leadoff guy hits a double. They walk the next batter intentionally, we single in the winning run! We are in the championships!!
Without a moments delay, the championship games starts. We are the away team and score one in the first. That would be the last time we had the lead in the game. They scored 4 in the first, then 5 more over the next 6 innings. We were only able to muster 2 more runs, as our bodies broke down from the furious activity of the last 4 days. It seemed everyball they hit went 300 feet plus. We did have excitement at the end when our starting pitcher roped one down the first baseline, all the way to the wall. He labored around the bases, scoring an inside the park homer. It wasn't until we shook their hands at the end of the game, that we realized most of them were much bigger then us. We later learned that their team had 8 players who were veterans of the camp, having played in prior years. Our team only had 2 players who had experienced the camp before. Bottom line was the better team won. We held our heads high, and showered for the Awards dinner that night. We had an absolute blast as we signed team balls for each other, had autographs signed by the pros, took pictures, and had a few cocktails.