Personal Essay: Excessive Competition In Baseball

1199 Words 5 Pages
I have always hated baseball, yet I used to play that sport all the time. I have always hated the excessive competition found in baseball, yet I used to whine when I did not win. I have always enjoyed the friendship found in baseball, yet I used to be blind from its existence. When I was 9, the neighborhood kids and I would gather whenever we could at the baseball diamond in Schmidt Park. There, we would assign teams and then play until we couldn’t. Most of us had nothing else better to do over the summer, so this is what we did, every day we could, for as long as we could. I remember the last time I ever played baseball alone. It was a nice day and the sun felt warm with just the right amount of clouds to seem playful; there wasn’t a single …show more content…
Ryan smacked the ball far out of sight. I threw the next ball and he watched it go by. He said it strayed to the right. I threw the next one above his knee. He said it dropped too low. I throw one right back to the spot where he hit the first one and he hit it into the trees. Then it was my turn. I swung, then I missed. I swung, then I missed. I swung, then I missed. “Ughh!” I exclaimed. “You’re leaning into the plate,” Ryan assured me, “Just pay attention to the ball.” I swung and made contact, but was immediately disappointed to see Ryan holding the ball that rolled straight to him. Then it was Ryan’s turn. He swung, then the ball flew. He swung, then the ball landed in left field. He restrained himself and my pitch wandered just outside. Then he swung again and the ball hit what we deemed the home run street. Then it was my turn again.
I was filled with a greater hate for baseball than usual by this point. However, I was determined to find something enjoyable about this sport, so I stood by the plate and prepared myself to surpass Ryan’s distance. Ryan gave me his pitch, but it seemed too low. I decided to make my mark on the next one.
“That’s a strike!” Ryan said in his usual excited manner.
I scrunched my face up and then cried out, “What are you talking about? I threw you the same pitch and you got the
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Eventually, I realized that my tears may have been from a good look into the mirror, revealing the ugly parts of my personality. I learned not only that I had some control issues, but also, and more importantly, that I was obsessed with competition. I was unaware of the true reasons for why they wanted to play baseball so often. They enjoyed the comradery, the merriment, and the good times. Baseball was just the medium by which they attained these treasures, and I was blind to these riches the whole time. I always sought to do the best and prove my worth as an athlete, but, that whole time, my friends never cared how fast or how slow, how strong or how weak, even how skilled or how pathetic I was. They only cared about what was truly important—having fun. Baseball never was a terrible sport for its demand of competition and athleticism. Rather, I hated baseball due to my own negative attitude towards the sport.
After my breakthrough, I felt afraid to meet my friends in the park the next day since I figured they wouldn’t want me there. Instead, I remember how happy they were to have me playing again, and I remember how forgiving Ryan was when I apologized; but, most of all, I remember how good it felt the first day we played baseball, when I played with them instead of against them, when I played only to have some fun with good friends. Yes, I remember when, for the first time in my life,

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