At Bat

It’s a Little League game and both teams’ uniforms are the same color. I walk past the batting team’s dugout – they’re a few yards down from the sidewalk – and listen to the team’s well rehearsed chattering encouragement. A batter advances to the plate, another passes in front of him to get to a spot where he can take some practice swings. I turn the corner behind the backstand, now walking parallel to the third/home baseline. The pitcher, catcher, and coach break their pitcher’s mound conference and I stop to watch for one at bat. The first pitch is wide. Ball one. Runners on first and second steal their next bases. The second pitch is hit, and the left fielder and center fielder both make for a point between their positions. Parents cheer and the center fielder backs off to let the left fielder get the ball. The left fielder reaches low to catch it – Out – and I gasp, “damn,” because I guess I’d picked my team.

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