Here Goes Nothing

Here Goes Nothing

A Story by Meeks

Baseball, and a bit of life too.


I was never an avid baseball player. I wasn’t bad at it, but I didn’t have the same drive that other kids had, and I never found baseball enjoyable anyway. But all the cool kids played, and my dad loved baseball, so I figure, hey, what could go wrong? Right?

“McCarthy!” the coach hollered from his position in the dugout.

“Yes Coach? Are you taking me off the field?” I was quick to assumptions.

“Hell no. You’re going to be pitching,” he smiled, looking at the players who were running to their positions in the field. My eyes widened.

“Pitching, sir?”

“Yep. Our pitcher is out, you’ll replace him.”

“But sir, I never pitch.”

“Well, here’s your chance.”

“Sir, you don't understand, I never pitch. Ever. Not in middle school, not even in little league. I haven't pitched before in my life, I just don't pitch.”

“Don't give me that bullshit, I’ve seen your arm.” He handed me my glove and pushed me out of the dugout. “It’ll be fine, you got the pitcher stuff down.”

And within moments, there I was. On the mound, not really sure whether to go back to the dugout or stand still until someone carried me off. The batter was already tapping home plate, once... twice.

I glanced at the coach, who quickly gave me a thumbs up. I glanced at the batter, who eyed me dangerously. I glanced at the umpire, who wasn't really watching. And then I looked at the catcher. He had his hand on his crotch and, for some odd reason, his pointer finger was extended in a very obvious one signal. One. One what? 

It took me a second to figure it out. In baseball, one finger means that the catcher’s waiting for a fastball, and the pitcher nods either yes to accept it, or no for the catcher to propose another pitch. So, now I need to respond.

I couldn't throw fastballs. So I shook my head slightly, and the catcher extended another finger. Two fingers, now what did that mean? Curveball? Knuckleball? I only had a baseball.

The batter shifted slightly. He had a wild look in his eye, and it looked awfully uncomfortable to stay in that position, the bat not quite on shoulder and his rear stretched out. I shook my head again because I wasn't really sure what two was anyway, and the catcher extended a third finger.

And the batter silently mouthed the word ‘three’.

I smiled. He was counting. He was trying to figure me out. He thought that I knew what I was doing. And that’s how I could get him, that was my chance. I could have the element of surprise on my side. He won’t expect it, no way he would. He would freak out, and I might even get a strike or two. 

So I shook my head again. The catcher extended another finger, and the batter mouthed ‘four’. It was slight, and one could only see it if one was looking for it.

I shook my head again. Five. I was probably past all the curveballs and knuckleballs to the stop-balls and boomerang-balls. I heard about that somewhere, four and five are really weird. But I shook my head again.

Six. The catcher looked at me distastefully, then glanced at the umpire. He removed his glove, and hesitantly flashed six fingers.The batter, though, grew wide eyes. His fingers tapped the bat repeatedly. He bit his lip. He was nervous, and it was obvious.

So I shook my head again. The catcher raised his eyebrows, but extended seven fingers. The batter’s arms shook, and he furtively tried to look behind him. To no avail, because he had to be ready and facing me. It was entertaining to watch.

Seven, that's the one. I nodded, making sure that my motion was clearly visible, yet not too much so. The catcher re-armed himself with his glove, and the batter tried to calm himself in the face of a looming pitch...

Well then. Here goes nothing.

I wound up, just like all the pitchers I’ve watched do, and released the ball. It sailed through the air, coming closer and closer, and beaned the batter straight in the stomach.

To this day, if you ask anybody from my high school baseball team 'what to do on pitch seven', people will know. It's official now.

© 2016 Meeks

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Hello Meeks,

Well-written, few typos and a nice build up. Some suggestions:

But all the cool kids played, and my dad loved baseball, so I figure, hey, what could go wrong? Right? -> makes me think a lot can go wrong: not being cool if you suck at baseball or being a disappointment to your father. I would change this into something like "...hey, let's give this a try."

"Yes Coach?" -> "Yes, Coach?"

"It took me a second to figure it out. In baseball, one finger means that the catcher’s waiting for a fastball,..." -> if you play baseball you'll know this instantly, no matter how hard you suck at it. If you don't play baseball you won't have a clue. This therefore is hard for me to believe. And if the pitcher really has only a vague understanding then how can he later on know all the baseball-lingo? curveball, boomering, knuckle, etc.? All in all this is a bit confusing, maybe you can prevent this by giving us a more clear idea in the first paragraph about how invested the MC is baseball. For example: "I knew all the rules and had seen an odd match on tv, but I had been playing only for a few weeks now."



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Added on March 4, 2016
Last Updated on March 4, 2016




Hey guys! I'm a sixteen year old writer trying desperately to make something publish-worthy. In the meantime, I hand out useful critiques and comments. Currently trying to work on something diffe.. more..

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