Saturday, June 11, 2005

A Short Story

I missed most of last night's game. But the story wasn't the late-inning explosion, it was the triumph of Rick Short.

He, after years of toiling (and that's probably the best word for it) in the minors, he had his one chance, a chance any of us would love, and a chance he had dedicated his entire life to.

In the bottom of the fifth, with a runner on second and the team down by two, Frank sent Short up to pinch hit.

The fairy tale would've had him hit a tying home run.

But, Rick is apparently not a lover of predictable Hollywood endings.

He just did what he's done his entire career; he grinded out an at bat.

After falling down 0-2, he lined a ball to left field, which scored Brian Schneider.

After he rounded first base, walked back to the bag, adjusted his helmet, took off his helmet, he took a fist bump from the first-base coach and acknowledgement from Richie Sexson.

And he did it all while trying his damndest to not smile.

Someday, his grandchildren will flip through the baseball encyclopedia and see his name, and the 1.000 batting average next to it. They'll do the smiling for him.

Not even Moonlight Graham was that lucky.