20 Days of Chill: I found a ball … (Day 4)
The past summer, I saw a lot of baseball games. A total of 75 games, in fact.
Over the course of the season, I ended up with a bunch of foul balls. None of those foul balls were at the major league level, but still pretty cool.
Of all the baseballs I ended up with, just one was a home run ball.
It was an extremely hot day in Burlington, North Carolina. And this was an early game – 11 a.m.! We shared the park of the rookie-level game with a bunch of school-aged kids, who were there as part of a camp day.
The park is an older one. Netting covers much of the parts behind the plate and down the baselines. There’s also not a lot of shade, so you could feel the warmth. The park in Burlington was originally built in Danville, Virginia but, in 1959, was sold and taken to Burlington where it was opened again for baseball in 1960.
The seating is behind the plate and down the lines some, but beyond the outfield wall is nothing but an open area that is not accessed without leaving the park.
In the fifth or sixth inning, somebody hit a home run to left field. Usually, I would imagine, kids would make a dash for the ball by leaving the park. Alas, these kids at the park today were not doing that as they were there with camps.
So I decided to walk out and see if I could find it.
When I left the park and went to the back area, there was an older man there. Turns out he had grabbed the ball and let me know something about how he often grabs them and gives them to grandkids. If that’s so, then cool deal. But he also asked if the gates were still being manned as he goes into the park after they stop collecting tickets. So … on one hand, cool that he might give these balls to kids, but at the same time, he’s shady on how he gets into the game … so which to believe?
When I got back, I told those who I was with about my attempt and took some playful jabs about trying to chase down a ball in this heat. It was hot, remember. I was sweating (as were many people for just sitting there, let alone trying to chase down a ball).
In the eighth inning, another home run was hit to left field. I didn’t move.
Then the jabs came. How was I going to let that go? I wasn’t going to try for it? A second chance at a home run ball.
I decided to stop the jabs and go take a peek and off I went. Nobody else was heading out that way and when I got there, there was nobody to be seen. I looked and looked and didn’t see anything. Had somebody run out and grabbed it and disappeared?
I kept looking, worrying somebody was going to come out and find it before I could. While I was looking, a car pulled up in the parking lot – almost looking toward me. Could somebody have been listening to the game and wanted a chance at a ball? I doubt that, but it still made me worry.
I stopped and looked around … and sitting not far from me was a white object in the open. Could it be? Could it?
I walked closer and, sure enough, there is was… I found a ball just sitting there ready to be grabbed. It was about the right area and it had scuffs from hitting the ground.
The home run ball was secured … and despite being covered in sweat and needing a shower quite badly, I found the ball after a successful hunt!
This post is part of the 20 Days of Chill Writing Challenge hosted by A ‘lil HooHaa. Please check out the link if you’d like to see others or join in. You don’t have to do every theme if you don’t want! And for those participating, take a moment and check out the other participants! You can see the 2017 themes by clicking here.