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Peanuts & Crackerjack

Play Ball

By Lamar WigginsPublished 11 months ago Updated 11 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2023
Peanuts & Crackerjack
Photo by Philip Strong on Unsplash

Cleveland Stadium 1948

The ninth inning stretch. The ball game is tied with two outs, two strikes and a man on second. I tap the bat on home plate. Its dead weight lumbers as mental exhaustion takes its toll. Man on second, willing to chance it. Pitcher eyes him but doesn't give in to the dangerous bluff. I kick up dust, readying my stance, the bat lays stiff upon my cramping shoulder. It's daylight still, but the stadium lights are on anyway. They trick my brain into believing they are causing the sweltering heat. The roar from the crowd intensifies. Sporadic clouds are motionless as if they don't want to miss this exhilarating predicament. The crafty catcher adjusts his stance and spits to the dry dirt. 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. My eyes lock on 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. The man on second leaves in a desperate rush. I drop the bat and focus my sprint on the only destination I have - first base. Three defenders race inward to be the first to retrieve the skidding ball. Man is now on third! I watch the open glove of my adversary, wondering if I will 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 roar of the crowd spikes, something happens that I can’t see. The first baseman takes off 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 turf 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 has become a fight to tag out the runner heading homeward. The catcher falls to his knees in obvious desperation 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 for 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, creating a dust storm in his wake. He dives into the air and 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. The crowd's roar decreases as everyone awaits this gut-wrenching outcome. The bench begins to celebrate even before he reaches the plate. The crowd goes nuts. Everyone knows how this story will end… The runner is met by the entire team as his fingers inch across home plate. The sound of the ball making contact with the catcher's glove is milliseconds too late. The ump swings his arms outward, officially calling him safe. We won! We won this hard-fought game to advance! Emotions sink in.

The taste of victory is a salty bowl of intense relief, with a hint of spice and lots of celebration. I run to my teammates to get my portion of this savory moment... The World Series is looming...



Thank you for stopping by to enjoy this mostly fictitious account of the deciding divisional game that led to the Cleveland (Indians) Guardians winning the World Series in 1948. They also won in 1920. When will the drought end? As you might have guessed. I’m originally from the Cleveland Oh area and remain a faithful fan of their sports teams.


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


Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  4. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  5. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (18)

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  • Jay Kantor8 months ago

    L-Bud ~ BatterUP ~ An "Indian" Fan J-Bud

  • Gina C.8 months ago

    Wow! Not sure how I missed this, Lamar, but I really loved the suspense of this! Awesome read!! 🤗❤️ Baseball is fun 🤗

  • Dana Crandell9 months ago

    Really well written, Lamar! Great tension and a nice ramp up to the finish. I don't know how I missed this one, but congratulations!

  • Babs Iverson9 months ago

    Fan fantastic!!! Loved it!!!♥️♥️💕

  • Stephanie Downard11 months ago

    I could feel the rush build as I read this! You did a phenomenal job! Congrats on you're top story! ❤️

  • MARIE ODEMS 11 months ago


  • Loryne Andawey11 months ago

    This was so exhilarating to read! Well done!

  • Rakshit11 months ago

    Congrats on top story , nice one

  • Congratulations on Top Story. I would love to make some witty baseball comment, but i've got nothing after the nail-biting experience of my son's game almost being called because the timer for the lights was not working and the field got too dark. Problem was fixed in time in case you're wondering.

  • Sonia Heidi Unruh11 months ago

    Not a fan of Cleveland tbh ... but a fan of baseball fans (married to one!). Great descriptive details.

  • Dana Stewart11 months ago

    Lamar, this is an excellent narrative of that epic moment in sports. I'm an avid sports junkie myself, and former athlete. I really enjoyed this! And Congratulations on your Top Story!

  • Cathy holmes11 months ago

    This was great. The tension you created felt like watching the real thing. Congrats on the TS

  • Donna Renee11 months ago

    That was so good, Lamar!! Felt like a real live action read.

  • Whoooo, this was so well written. Moved and flowed effortlessly

  • Gosh, that was such an exciting experience! I was on the edge of my seat! You did an awesome job on this!

  • Sara Wilson11 months ago

    Speaking as someone who doesn't know a lot of baseball... This was written so well. Held my attention the entire time. Played out exactly like a movie. Wonderful job 👏👏

  • Roy Stevens11 months ago

    Well done, indeed Lamar. For a moment you actually made baseball exciting!! The single long paragraph really worked well here in keeping the action moving. Exciting baseball? Maybe you could consider taking up Alchemy! Also, thank you; you've given me an idea for a story!

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