• Zach Yaqub

Dear Baseball

Dear Baseball, 

There is nothing I don't miss about you. I can't even describe what I would give right now, just to strike out or to lose a game by 10 runs. Because there is always another at bat, another opportunity. As a high school player I miss the feeling of competition. The goal of getting a win and doing everything in your power to get it done. I miss the feeling of hitting a triple, sliding into third and watching the dugout go berzerk. I miss the feeling of striking somebody out and watching the infield toss the ball around in celebration. I miss stealing a base. I miss battling with 2 strikes. I miss getting hit by a pitch and taking a hard 90 to first base. I miss catching fly balls. I even miss losing flyballs in the sun. I miss looking at the lineup card and seeing my name. I miss tapping the plate as I step in the box. There is nothing about the game of baseball that I don't miss. 

The daily grind of baseball keeps you focused and constantly motivated. Days fly by because I know that once the last school bell sounds I get to do what I love. It's not just about baseball, it is about the small moments you have with your teammates. Chants from the dugout and joking around. Yelling “WOAH” as we rock back and forth against the dugout railing. Or the pregame hype circles where I Fortnite dance like a 10-year-old. Just walking to the field after school, ready to get better; even on the coldest days in January, heading up to the cages to get some hacks in. I worked my ass off every day the whole year to be ready. I would train every day. I gave Friday nights and Sundays at 7am. And I loved it.

I have learned so much about myself and life playing high school baseball. You can't half ass high school baseball. Everytime you stop your workout, somebody else keeps going. Everytime you open a bag of chips, somebody else is eating broccoli. Everytime you take 100 swings, somebody else takes 200. While I love watching the numbers on my bench and deadlift go up, you can't get too excited for your highs - you just gotta keep working. I am glad baseball is difficult. Because the only things in life worth doing are really hard. Or else everybody would do it.  Baseball teaches you how to deal with failure and rejection. I learned how to believe in myself. How to step on the mound, look at a batter and think, “You’re done.” That quiet confidence in yourself helps you create a good life.   

Hopefully this pandemic will prepare us for the real world. There will be setbacks in life. But what defines a human being is how we act in times of adversity and how we treat others when things aren't going well. Everybody is there for you in good times, true friends are there for you in tough times. Baseball has taught us the skills we need in times like this. The world is on pause. Do the right thing even when nobody is looking. I hope people use this time productively. Don't waste it playing video games, or eating junk food. The world will eventually return to normal. Be ready. 


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