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Take me out to the ball game

          As I walk away from the deserted stadium on demolition day. The memories of my childhood overflow into my mind. My dad and I never missed a baseball game when the Dodgers where playing they were just minor league, but baseball was the only passion my dad and I shared.

There is one game in particular that will always be my favorite. My dad and I hurried across the parking lot to get our favorite seats. We got our crackerjacks and settled down to wait until the game time. The energetic players ran out on to the field escorted by their separate mascots.

The Minors mascot a small pudgy man was dressed in a red stick of dynamite. For his pre-game show he ran to home plate and mimed hitting a ball then ran around the bases back wards until he got to second base. There he paused to surround himself in case of dynamite. He hit the switch and ca-boom he flew through the air in a cloud of smoke. When the dust finally cleared the mascot was lying motionless between second and third base. The crowd gasped and the paramedics sprang into action. With them they were carrying a stretcher to carry off the wounded man. Just as they were coming up to him he jumped up and ran around the bases once more to show everyone that he was all right. Everyone cheered and clapped loudly and they where begging for an encore. The ruckus was so loud that it shook the stadium.

The Dodgers mascot a large over stuffed gopher named Scruffy had a better idea for a crowd-pleader. He went up to the stands taking two stairs at a time. He was coming at my father and I as he if he was going to eat me alive. Scruffy grabbed me up in a big hug, turning to my dad he said,

“Today’s your lucky day. Your lovely daughter has just won grand prize.”

“What grand prize?” my dad asked puzzled.”

“Her seat number was drawn, That means that she gets to come down to the dugout and meet all of the players, Plus she gets to stand next to little old me the whole game. You may come too since she is under18.” Scruffy explained as he headed back out to the field with my father trailing behind holding tightly to my hand.

When we got to the bottom Scruffy carried me all of the way to the dugout where he set me down and began to introduce my dad and I to all of the players one by one. My dad shook each of their hands calling me his little sunshine. When all of the players and the coach and been properly introduced the game was about to begin.

Everyone stood proud for the presentation of the colors and the star spangled banner. My dad and I got to go onto the field and stand in line with the players. The announcer announced the winning of our prize and my face went red like an apple. Scruffy then picked me up and hoisted me onto his shoulders to parade me around the field to the delight of the crowd who cheered and clapped making enough noise that nothing else could be heard and with that the game began.

At the top of the ninth the dodgers were down by three and it looked as if there was no hope for them to win. As they ran out onto the field each player patted me on the head. I smiled my shy smile and wished them all good luck. By some miraculous miracle the Dodgers rocked the minors three up three down it was now the Dodger’s time to turn the tides. The first batter hit a grounder in between left and center and made it softly to second base. The next batter hit a line drive down shortstop he made it to first. The third hit a grounder along the left base line making the bases loaded. The next batter was my favorite player he was number 31 the catcher the stakes of the game were all on his shoulders. As mike trotted out on to the field he winked at me and said.

“This ones for you kid” with that he was gone already in the batters box ready to go. The first pitch was a ball way outside the next was a little too much on the inside. Mike glared at the pitcher daring him to throw something worth swinging at. The last pitch was fast and low the perfect meatball pitch. Mike grunted with exertion when the ball hit the bat making such a cracking sound that I was sure that the bat was broken. Mike dropped the bat and ran and everyone followed suit in what seemed to be slow motion. The crowed stood spell bound watching the ball sail through the air and over the fence it was out of the park and the crowed yelled.

“Home run it is a home run! The Dodgers win the game.” The players on the bench ran out on to the field cheering all of the runners, home. My dad and I followed, pushing to the front of the mob of players. As Mike rounded third on his way down the third base line he grabbed me and carried me the rest of the way to home plate where he made the winning run. The game had ended and I knew that it was time to go.

I could hardly sleep that night so, my dad and I sat up and dunked Oreo cookies and talked about the game this was a memory for the keepsake box.

I am now grown and my father has passed on the old stadium has been torn down to make room for a shopping mall. At night I go sit in the deserted parking lot and I can almost hear the roar of the crowd and the crack of the ball against the bat.