The Nervous Outfielder

Essay by fletchman14College, UndergraduateA+, October 2004

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In the bottom of the seventh inning, as the score is tied with two outs, you hear the bat collide with the ball. You hear a sharp cracking sound that sends the orb soaring into the air like a shooting star. Through the dark cool night air, the projectile travels deep into the vast green outfield. This could be the moment that you have been waiting for, or maybe the one that you have always dreaded. The preparations and the many thoughts that speed through your head, (do I stay where I am or do I run forward, backward, left or right) will determine if it is another glorious out or a fatal error costing the game. As you anxiously stand with your hands tightly gripping your knees, watching the powerful swing of the batter, you try to calculate which way the dirt stained ball will be directed when hit.

By timing the expeditious swing and the stance with which the batter addresses the plate, the fielder can estimate where the leather encircled sphere will go and the distance it will travel.

        Once you have made the proper adjustments, it is time to focus. Many things race through your head as an outfielder before the rondure is hit. Where should it be thrown, first, second, third or home? Are runners on base? How many outs are there? After all these and many other calculations have been made, it is time to focus on the bantam ball that may be coming your way at blazing speed. As you stand slightly hunkered down, with your knees bent and hands perspiring, you see the lilliputian ball come off the bat with tremendous power. At the first wood splitting sound, or sight of the dirty orb streaming away from the bat, the muscles all...