Andy Rodriguez, despite his obviously Hispanic name, never had dreams of being a baseball legend. And I know what you’re thinking. But no, he didn’t have dreams of being a soccer legend either. He had simple dreams. Mostly of monsters and pools full of pudding. He is eleven after all.*
Andy’s mom and dad signed him up for after school baseball to introduce healthy exercise into their growing son’s life, which at the time revolved around pizza rolls covered with ranch dressing and his second hand Nintendo.** His father, who played baseball all through high school, dreamed of the days when he’d be able to teach his son to play his favorite sport. But Andy was never interested in going out and throwing the ball around with dad. It’s cold outside without a jacket and a lot of Andy’s jackets don’t really fit anymore.
Andy lives by one philosophy, which he carries not only for sports, but for life. “I don’t run unless something is chasing me.” And that is exactly what he told his coach seven weeks ago at the beginning of the school’s season. As of last weekend, Andy struck out every time at the plate, except two, when he was forced to jog to first base after being hit with a pitch, sore and winded.
This past weekend things changed for Andy forever. Knowing Andy’s aversion to effort, the other team put in their bench pitcher, whose asthma had been acting up literally all season. Try as he might, asthma kid just couldn’t focus, and Andy walked. And immediately after, the awkwardly tall kid who bats after Andy walked too. Tears gathered in Andy’s father’s eyes as he proudly looked upon his son drawing pictures in the dirt with his feet at second base. And that’s when it happened. A fly, which Andy mistook for a bee, buzzed right by Andy’s ear, forcing him into a full sprint toward and around third base. He circled third three or four times before actually hitting the base, but the other team was so put off by his high pitched scream, they forgot to throw the ball.
After the game, Andy’s father took him out for ice cream. On the car ride home he had the idea to use all of Andy’s college saving to create an in-home, state of the art training center for his son. Andy nodded in agreement, knowing full well he hadn’t been listening to his father. His legs hurt from running, and his ice cream wasn’t going to eat itself…
– Karin Graham