Bottom of the 9th - Inspiration
by Kyle Robbins
Valor Senior; Third Base
Ever since I was in grade school, I aspired to play baseball at the high school varsity level. I would beg my dad to take me out to games at our local high school. I was about eight years old, had been to Rockies games, and had seen professionals and their skills put to the test at the highest level of Major League Baseball. Players like the sure-handed Todd Helton, the simplistically powerful swing of Larry Walker, and the late-night magic Seth Smith and Matt Holliday in the 2007 season filled my dreams, but I had never seen kids (high school aged, just a few years older than me) playing as hard as these guys.
Watching from behind the outfield fence at a local high school, the game almost came right to me as I sat peeking through the holes in the forever-stretching blue mesh of the fence. There was a 3-2 count as the pitcher threw a ball too far inside, and the batter admired the ball that was well on its way out of the park almost right to me, nestling no more than 15 feet from where I was standing. The metal ting of the bat seemed to last as long as it took the batter to trot to first. After picking the ball up and proceeding toward the fence, I saw the number 12 on his back as he jumped into a mob of his teammates. My dad noticed me studying the ball and wondering why his teammates were so excited. It was a walk-off home run that the player had hit to send his team to the State Championship Tournament.
After the game, I saw the kid in the parking lot with his teammates who where high-fiving him left and right. Being the innocent kid that I was at the time, I was taught to return what was not mine. To the playerâ€™s surprise, I handed him the baseball that he had hit. He thought it was long gone. Ever since I saw the look in his eyes and how important the whole game was to him, I never wanted anything more than to be in the same position as that young man. It was my athletic goal.
Once I entered my freshman year of high school, I realized that I was not fit or physically ready for my dream as a child. My new goal at that point was to physically ready myself for making the varsity team. After many days of running, conditioning, and lifting, I turned into one of those players. I reached my goal and was hitting in our teamâ€™s line-up and playing third base. I was very proud of myself but also very humbled with the amount of effort I put into my overall goal. It showed me with the proper amount of effort, you could accomplish almost any goal you have.
Since then, I have been giving it my all in the classroom to get the best grades I can, I have been working out and practicing baseball almost everyday so I can be a leader on and off the field. Because of this, I am very proud of where I am in life, and of the doors I will open in the future with my work ethic.
God helped me see that I was not fit enough to be on the team and did not deserve it. I knew things were not going to be handed to me and I had to work. Through this process and many of the things I had learned in my Junior year in bible class, I became close to God and began to live life and play in Godâ€™s plan not for any man or myself. I hope the work I put in can be an influence on younger players. Valor baseball has shaped me as a man and continues to reveal important life lessons along the way.
James 4:10: Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. Colossians 3:23: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.
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