The Catch

You can certainly feel free to say “Bullsh**!” to this, but I knew Kevin had that ball all the way.

And holy fricking heck, I was even in the park to see it. Second deck, just between home and third, with a perfect view of the whole thing. And what a thing it was.

The instant the ball was struck, I turned to Pillar and he was already on the move. Even before I’d shifted my eyes from the plate to the outfield, he was already running in a dead-straight even line to where the ball was going to come down, and as the ball dipped and the crowd sighed I was already standing and getting ready to cheer because Pillar had his eye on it, and was raising his glove and I knew he was going to get that sucker because the great outfielders, the truly extraordinary ones, just have a particular way of moving–of gliding–for those last few steps before they make the eye-popping catch and Pillar was gliding across the green like he was barely touching it.

And then he flew up, and tossed out the glove and…oh my goodness, but that is why I watch baseball and shell out the outrageous amounts of money it costs to take your kids to a ballgame. Because as Pillar came down with that ball in his glove and everyone else stood up to join me and the noise rose up all around, I got to look down at my boys and to see them looking down at the field in the same way that I was, and the way everyone else there was: eyes wide and white, smiles of awe and amazement from ear to ear, and a kind of bewildered air of the surreal surrounding everything.

“Did you see that?” my younger boy asked me. “Did you see?”

“That…was incredible,” offered the elder.

My wife tore her eyes from the field to look at me. “I can’t believe what I just saw. Did he really catch that?”

Yes. Yes, he did catch that.

And I was there to see it.

God, I love baseball.

 

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