That previous post really set the stage for an exciting, emotional, underdog-makes-good kind of ending, didn’t it? (If you didn’t read it yet, you should.) Imagine it: the shrimpy, non-baseball-playing kid scarred from his less-than-enjoyable Little League experience steps to the plate more than three decades later and belts one over the fence.
Oh, if only. sigh
And our fairy-tale ending would have been even more dramatic if, on the night of that recent home-run derby, our hero was the eighth batter, and the seven other batters who went before him — all of whom have substantially more baseball-playing experience — failed to hit a single home run.
Ten swings each. Seventy swings total. Zero home runs.
And now let’s imagine our hero stepping to the plate under the piercing gaze of dozens of onlookers, to include his own children, both of whose teams he coaches, and both of whom believe he knows something about hitting a ball … and let’s watch him take 8 of his 10 swings without producing a single home run himself.
But it’s OK … because no one really expected him to put one out. In fact, they’d probably have been stunned if, on the second to last pitch, he swung the bat … and connected … and drove one straightaway to deep center field … and planted the ball on the far side of the fence. I can only imagine how incredible that moment would have been … and in my imagination, that incredible moment would have looked like this:
Wha wha WHAT? Hold on just a minute. Let’s see that again in slo-mo. (Don’t worry; I’m not going to drag it out or make it seem more grandiose than it really was):
Yes, my friends, fairy tales can come true … it can happen to you … and all you need to do is practice … and believe in yourself … and suck down a couple of highly potent Cabo Wabo margaritas shortly before your turn at bat.
I was the first guy to hit a home run at the home-run derby. That is a thing that actually happened. And for a little while, I got to strut around like the cock of the walk while men, women and children congratulated me and high-fived me and generally marveled at my overall awesomeness.
And my kids had a totally killer “That’s my Dad!” moment that made me feel like a hero.
Therapy to recover from the emotional scars left by my childhood Little League experience: $160 per hour.
Easton Hammer baseball bat: $49.99.
I just saved a ton of money on therapy.
Father Muskrat says
I just sobbed all over my wireless keyboard.
Not really. But this story rocks!
Well done, sir.
Val from Cape Town says
Way to go!!!! Fairy tales DO come true! 🙂
Jamie, Mom of 3 says
Awww, congratulations! You rock!
Would now be a bad time to tell you that, despite wearing a (boo) Boston hat, the ad that popped up was for Yankee gear? 😉
Seriously, you rock.
I didn’t see anything grandiose about that second video. I bet that’s exactly how it went down. Inspirational background music and all. Seemed legit to me. Way to go!! 🙂
Meg Lessard says
Did the kids call you Papi after the home run? You will always have that video moment. Hope you had a second Cabo to celebrate!
Jamie, Mom of 3 says
Keep the stories coming! I just know you’ve got a ton, and the gift to tell them! I always read, don’t always comment, and ALWAYS enjoy…
Nana Zal says
Well how about that! As the Mom of the one time peepsqueek in the orange shirt;
I got goosebumps when I saw the video! Hooray for you Jon Zal. You’re
not in Kansas anymore!
Just saw your “brief”… if others are like me, they are only checking in now and then, since you haven’t been posting much or regularly. Epic home run! Should have bought that bat years ago!
Mark G. says
A home run coming from a guy didn’t play for the Ft. Irwin MP softball team? Wow, Jon we could’ve used you bro!!!!!
I’m sooooooo proud.
Awesome! (Also, told ya so! 😉
THAT was awesome.