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Peanuts and Crackerjack

History in the making. #Just a minute

By Lamar WigginsPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - May 2024
Peanuts and Crackerjack
Photo by Ryan Arnst on Unsplash

Bottom of the ninth inning. The game is tied with two outs, two strikes and a man on second. I tap the bat on home plate. The rigid vibrations it creates reminds my aching digits that this isn't over. The practice swing only adds to the heft of mental burnout... Man on second, willing to chance it. Pitcher eyes him but doesn't give in to the dangerous bluff. I kick up dust, readying the peculiar stance I've had since the days of little league. The bat lays stiff upon my cramping shoulder. Pain has no reason to be acknowledged; it's a fleeting afterthought. The sun sits passed high noon, but the stadium lights are on anyway. They trick my brain into believing they are the cause of this sweltering heat. Sporadic clouds are motionless, they too, don't want to miss this exhilarating predicament. Anticipating the next pitch, intensifying roars from the crowd rumble the stadium... Behind me, the crafty catcher adjusts his stance and spits to the dry dirt. Behind him, the staunch umpire doesn't flinch or even blink; he knows how important his call will be. The pitcher winds up, his grip tells me its gonna curve. The release is fierce! Beads of sweat from his hair and face disperse in every direction as the force of his might is unfailing. My left leg lifts—an instinctual move that will increase the power of my swing. It's all down to my two, bloodshot eyes. They lock onto the speeding, white dot as it instantly becomes the target I intend to destroy. The swing is late, but I manage a solid tip. The ball is taking a fast bounce toward the pitcher who is recovering from the almighty throw! Man on second leaves in a desperate rush! I fling the bat to the side with a sense of urgency and make a mad sprint to the only destination I have—first base. Three defenders race inward to be the first to retrieve the skidding ball. Man is almost on third! I watch the open glove of my adversary, wondering if I’ve done enough to win this race. I switch my attention to his eyes, looking for a clue, some kind of reaction that tells me the ball is in the air and heading his way. All I see is frustration. The deafening roar of the crowd spikes! Something happens that I can’t see! My opponent abandons his post right as my left stride touches the bag. I waste no time turning my head to see the pitcher laying on his stomach, pounding the mound with an open glove. He misses the opportunity to out me and the ball has quickly bounced past him. Excitement grows! This isn’t over yet... It's become an imperative fight to tag out the runner heading homeward. The catcher falls to his knees in obvious despair as he watches my teammate make the run of his life. He knows it’s going to be close when he sees the shortstop fumble the ball a second too long. I jump up and down with no plans on leaving first base. All my chips are on the speed and agility of the active runner. His cleats dig into the dirt, trailing a dust-filled cyclone from the rapid and strenuous strides. With a thrusting dive and an outstretched arm, he lands on his chest to begin the crucial slide to home plate. The shortstop fires the ball to the catcher! It immediately begins closing the gap! Nail-biting doesn't begin to describe the anxious vibe permeating the stadium. The bench begins to celebrate even before he reaches the plate. Forty thousand cheering fans reach maximum crescendo, filling the air with a glorious sound. Everyone knows how this story will end… My teammate is met by the entire bench as his fingers inch across home plate, instantly followed by the unmistakable motion of the catcher's glove attempting to tag him out—its milliseconds too late. The ump swings his arms outward, officially calling him safe.

We won! We won!

Emotions never felt better!

The taste of victory is a sweet bowl of intense relief with hints of spice and lots of celebration. I run to my teammates to get my portion of this savory moment... The World Series is ours!

Dall E

Short Story

About the Creator

Lamar Wiggins

Creative writer in the Northeast US who loves the paranormal, mystery, true crime, horror, humor, fantasy and poetry. Take a chance, you'll be thoroughly entertained.

"Life is Love Experienced" -LW

LDubs

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Comments (33)

  • Stephen Kramer Avitabile24 days ago

    That… was… awesome! So visual! I loved this idea for a small moment in time. You probably took something that was in reality about 30 seconds all in all and you described every inch of it perfectly! Expertly done! I loved reading this.

  • L.C. Schäferabout a month ago

    I see why this got top story! Well done. Was the no paras a deliberate choice for this one? I feel like it sort of helped belped build tension, like I could rest or take a breath 😁

  • infocampus logicsabout a month ago

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  • Anna about a month ago

    Congrats on your Top Story!

  • Gerard DiLeoabout a month ago

    Game on, Lamar! I really enjoyed this.

  • Mark Gagnonabout a month ago

    Just saw you got a Top Story for this one and you should have. Congratulations!

  • Lacy Loar-Gruenlerabout a month ago

    It has to be the Tampa Bay Rays! Fabulous story and congrats on TS, Lamar!!!

  • Esala Gunathilakeabout a month ago

    Congratulations on your top story.

  • Novel Allenabout a month ago

    I do not understand this game...cricket, football, basketball..but this one is like an alien game. Still, i get the excitement and the fun of it all. Beautifully executed. Congrats TS.

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    That's baseball!!! Superbly and fantastically written!!! Congratulations on Top Story!!!

  • Margaret Brennanabout a month ago

    congratulations on TS. This is truly magnificent. If you can the chance, please read my story, "The Last Ballgame." I hope you find it interesting.

  • Andy Pottsabout a month ago

    Congrats on the top story. What is it about baseball that lends itself so well to dramatic writing?

  • Windows Central2 months ago

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  • JBaz2 months ago

    Oh my that was beyond exhilarating, every word creating suspense and tension Man, I was thee watching it one of the best descriptive ball pals of all time Awesome Congratulations

  • Congratulations on your top story

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Alex H Mittelman 2 months ago

    Well written! And congrats in top story! 😃

  • Carol Townend2 months ago

    That was heart-racing! What a showstopping story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your fun fiction piece.

  • John Cox2 months ago

    Talk about pulse pounding brilliance! This one hell of a tale, Lamar! Absolutely brilliant!

  • Dana Crandell2 months ago

    Yeah, this one took me back! Those knots in the stomach while you wait for that pitch. Of course, it wasn't a World Series on the line in my case. lol Great job, Lamar, and Congratulations!

  • Very good

  • Donna Fox (HKB)2 months ago

    Wow, such a tense and exciting moment Lamar!! Loved this!! I don't know much about baseball but that didn't get in the way of how well you drew me into this piece and had me rooting for the MC's team!! Great entry to the challenge and congrats on Top Story!!

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    That was so real. As a fan, I could picture every second, and was getting nervous on the run for home. Well done and congrats on the TS.

  • Jay Kantor2 months ago

    L-bro - As promised you did me better re; my "Hit me Baby" story. You're not 'Vin Scully' but a rambling close 2nd as you build our excitement...! Thank you for your kind words the other day - virtual friends can be 'real' friends. J-bro

  • Real Poetic2 months ago

    I love a good baseball game. You described it so well that I felt like I was at the stadium wanting to catch a ball! Awesome work as always.

Lamar WigginsWritten by Lamar Wiggins

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