• Contest Entry: A Staff of Three

    I was 9 when I first picked a baseball bat. My dad had always encouraged me to play sports, and I had just got kicked out of basketball for being bad at it. He found out through a friend that there was a small team of cubans that had set up a baseball club not far from where I lived, so he asked me if I wanted to try and I agreed.

    The first day I fell in love with the sport. I loved everything about it; running the bases, throwing the ball, hitting and catching. I absolutely adored it. However, as years went by, I realized that I was not good at it. I wasn’t a good hitter, I wasn’t particularly fast and I was not able to throw really accurately although I had a good arm. I stayed around for about two years before something changed my life and made me want to quit sports altogether.

    I was 12 when my adductor ligament of the hip was torn completely. I had been playing soccer at my school and I was forced into a split, which caused my not-so-flexible ligament to give in and tear. At first we didn’t know what it was, but eventually they diagnosed me with a torn adductor brevis.

    My life was awful for 9 months before I was able to practice sports once again, and when I decided to come back to the field I loved, I found out the reality of my injury. Everyone was way ahead of me, not only physically, but experience wise. A national tournament had been carried out that year, and I wasn’t able to participate due to my injury. I was distraught by the idea of having to catch up with all of them or, worst of all, not being able to be useful to the team. I had made up my mind to play one last game before I called it quits for good. That day, a new coach came to the game and was adamant on watching me pitch after seeing me make a throw from the outfield. I refused at first, but eventually I gave in and climbed the mound for the first time.

    I will never forget that feeling, the feeling of confidence and relaxation that flows through me every time I’m on that bump, which still persists today. I started going to practice more often and eventually, I saw myself looking forward to Tuesday and Thursday to come so that I could walk down to the field.

    A few weeks went by and my coach started seeing himself being the only coach on the team which meant that the focus on pitching was lost greatly. But, a few weeks later, another coach came to the team. He had been our coach’s coach when he played in cuba and he had come to Spain to live. Lucky for me, he was a pitching coach, so i continued to progress at it.

    My first tournament came around and in the last year, I had improved greatly at hitting and fielding. However, i was still new to pitching so, when coach called me to the bullpen, I lost control and launched a ball into right field, killing any chances I might have had of pitching.

    Another year went by and the summer tournament was on the doorway yet again. This tournament however, I did not pitch. Our catcher had sustained and elbow injury and had surgery on it, which meant that we didn’t have a catcher. I volunteered for it and my focus shifted to that.

    After that year, my first coach left the team because he was not allowed to come with us to the tournament. That year of 2018 I was giving up on my hopes of becoming a pitcher, as my other coach had also left for Cuba for a few months, leaving us stranded with wannabe coaches teaching us baseball.

    One day, at a random game, I saw a really tall and muscular guy watching. I remember thinking he was a scout so I tried to show off a little bit. He was actually going to become our new coach and a week later, he was wearing our uniform. He taught me how to play the game with heart and to appreciate every single action that takes place on the field. He taught me how to condition my body and how to take care of it accordingly.

    I have come a long way, and I think I owe it all to this coaching staff of three. I am in America living my dream and remembering everything I’ve been taught.

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    18 votes