Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
"Corner of the Plate"
The batter steps up to the plate in a cold sweat, his legs trembling with anticipation. Bottom of the ninth. The count is full. Runner on third, two outs, down 4-3. All eyes are on him, the outcome of the game lies in his hands. The pitcher looks back the runner, slowly lifts his leg high in the air, and then swiftly yet gracefully accelerates towards home plate, like a pendulum in a single moment of smooth mechanical beauty. The ball blazes out of his pitchers hand, spiraling towards the batter's head before quickly diving into the strike zone at the last moment. The pitch shocks the batter, buckling his knees. All he can do is watch as the ball crosses the corner of the plate. He furiously walks back to the dugout before the umpire even makes his call.
Pitching demands a specific set of skills unlike those required in any other team sport. It is not a position that requires the most athletic body, or even the most hand-eye coordination. Instead, a pitcher is an artist who must paint the corners of the plate with absolute precision, or risk having his masterpiece destroyed with a single stroke gone astray. He must perform like a magician; manipulating reality to create seemingly impossible illusions, all while concealing his tricks from the naked eye. It is a pitchers duty to wear a mask of composure at all times, asserting to the hitter that he is in control.
While most kids aspire to be the next Derek Jeter or Ken Griffey Jr. while they are younger, I was always the kid who wanted to be like Mariano Rivera and Randy Johnson. My lack of coordination, speed and strength at a young age dampened any chance of becoming a great position player in the field. I couldn't make contact with a ball if it was placed directly in front of me and grounders would roll right through my legs like a croquet ball through the wicket. To facilitate my development as a pitcher, my dad built a mound in the backyard and every other night would lovingly squat down behind home plate, catching until it was too dark to see. In one year my fastball increased 20 mph, leading to making the school baseball team and pitching several games.
After pitching one of the most extraordinary games of my career, a 1-0 loss to the best team in our summer travel league, I received a call from their head coach. Unlike the typical suburban teams I had played on my entire life, the Lansingburgh Royals were from the city of Troy. The team was composed of multiple ethnicities including African-American, Puerto Rican, and Italian. They were gritty, dedicated, and had the greatest desire to win out of anybody I've met to this day. Although they were from a much different upbringing and may have looked and talked different on the outside, playing with them taught me that on the inside they were no different from me.
Pitching may not have been the most glamorous position in the eyes of a young athlete, but it brought me a sense of satisfaction as I grew up. The satisfaction of finding success in a sport I believed I was destined to fail in. The satisfaction of long nostalgic nights spent with my father in the backyard. The satisfaction of knowing I can meet unique people and get along with them through a common interest. The best satisfaction of all however, is from throwing a 3-2 curve when the batter is waiting on the heat, and watching his knees buckle as his eyes helplessly follow the ball across the corner of the plate.
You're an excellent writer! I am hardly into sports at all, but your first paragraph had me spellbound and excited.
The pitcher looks back at the runner, slowly lifts his...
The ball blazes out of his
pitchers hand, spiraling towards the...
While most kids aspire to be the next Derek Jeter or Ken Griffey Jr.
while they are younger , I was always the kid who wanted to be like Mariano Rivera and Randy Johnson.
I made this into two sentences, because I thought it sounded more in tune with your writing style;
I couldn't make contact with a ball if it was placed directly in front of me. Grounders would roll right through my legs like a croquet ball through the wicket.
In one year my fastball increased 20 mph, leading me to make the school baseball team and pitching several games.
They were gritty, dedicated, and had the greatest desire to win out of anybody I've met to this day. This is great writing.
The end of your essay was great too, the way you linked it to the beginning. Good luck in school, but also plan your first book!