9 September 2012 The Road to Perfection It was a typical Thursday when my 14 and up baseball team was about to hit the field before baseball practice when the coach called us in his office for a phone call. We were anxious because we had been expecting a phone call from the Georgia Baseball Association so they could notify us if we had made it to the World Series. The phone rang and my nerves were getting out of control. I couldn’t tell if it was good or bad news because my coach wore his typical facial expression. The phone call ended and the coach stood up, he said, “Guys I don’t know how to say this. Congratulations.” When we heard that word we all jumped for joy as excitement filled our hearts. We knew our hard work had paid off, but it wasn’t over yet. In this essay I’m going to tell you about our road to perfection. So we finally took the baseball field for practice in excitement, but we knew we had to work even harder if we were going to win the World Series. Every day before practice we would take our hats off and thank the Lord for the many blessings he has given us and especially for the wonderful opportunity of letting our team lengthen our season in the southern states playoffs. We busted our asses every day and didn’t let anything hold us back. Our conditioning coach would make us get up at five in the morning to start stretching, hitting in the batting cages, running, and lifting weights. Even though we hated those early mornings, we knew in the end they would lead us to a first place trophy in the national tournament. After the morning conditioning the coaches would take us out to eat to stuff our bellies and get us ready for the noon practice. Even with the scorching sun shining down on us we didn’t let that get to us because the coach always motivated us by telling us four simple words: “Hard work pays off.” So game day was just around the corner and we were getting pumped up about making our first appearance in the national tournament. Our first game was in Neshoba County, Mississippi, and we didn’t know what to expect from their ball club. We walked onto their field and for some unusual reason everyone in the stadium was staring at me, Tevin, and Carlos. I figured out the reason they were keeping their eyes on us was because they had never seen black guys play little league baseball before. That made us want to beat them even worse. I was the leadoff batter and when I stepped out the dugout, I heard this loud Boo coming from the opposing fans. When I heard that it put a smirk on my face because I was glad to know individuals doubted me and didn’t want me to succeed. So being the bad-mannered kid I was I acted like I was scratching my back and gave their fans the middle finger. That really pissed their fans off- I have never heard so much swearing words in my life. So I stepped up to the plate and as I was expecting, the pitcher threw an extremely fastball toward my head. I immediately hit the ground, and as I got up, I started dashing toward the pitcher’s mound. When I arrived there I threw a right hook and decked the pitcher. After I did that all hell broke loose. There were fights in the stands between the parents and it got physical. Furthermore, the umpires separated everyone and I was kicked out of the game. I was highly upset, but being the great teammate I am I cheered my team on and motivated them throughout the game. They did a hell of a job by beating Neshoba eleven to zero. In addition to that, we had advanced to the semi-finals. We were headed to Miami, Florida to play the number one team in the nation. We were heading into that game nervous because of the winning tradition that they had built over the past couple of years. But we put that behind us and played Carrollton, Georgia baseball which was make no mistakes. I was back in the lineup leading off and this time, when I stepped to the plate, I just relaxed and took a deep breath.