I Believe in All-Star Baseball
“If you’re gonna play all-stars you have to be dedicated.” That’s what my dad said to me after I found out I made the State College National All-Stars Baseball team. I didn’t really know what he meant, but I replied, “Yes, Dad,” to appease him.
Making the team was a big thing for me. I come from a baseball family. I’ve always been pretty good at baseball, but I never really loved it -- until that summer.
When the first practice came, I still didn’t really know what my dad meant when he said I had to be dedicated. I found out the hard way. I was not nearly as good as I thought I was. I struck out and made errors. It was a fiasco.
What my dad meant was that I had to practice to be good. I had to work hard, and be a student of the game. It wouldn’t be easy; but it was up to me. At first I wanted my dad to help me, but he was too sick with lung cancer. So, I enlisted my brothers’ help, and progressively I got better.
By the time the first game rolled around, I went 2 for 3 hitting, and made no errors in the field. Throughout the season I continued to work. Although the team wasn’t very good, I was improving. But by the end of the summer, my dad was doing worse. He died November 26, 2009. I felt lost, but I could still hear his voice in the back of my mind, telling me to be dedicated.
I stuck with baseball, because I felt he would have wanted me to. It was the thing we had in common. I learned to love baseball more than ever before. I still do now. I play, I practice, and I fight -- for him.
As I mature and as my life changes, my dad’s words take on new meanings. I see that he was battling cancer just as I was battling a pitcher. I stayed dedicated to the game. He stayed dedicated my family. And although he ultimately lost, he kept with his fight against cancer until the very end. Now I realize instead of being dedicated to baseball, he meant I had to be dedicated to life.
I work hard in everything I do, because that’s what my dad would have wanted. I still play baseball, but now I try as hard as I can in school too. I stay up late doing my homework, and studying for the big test. But I still have to find time to live. Instead of just being dedicated to my passions and classwork, I have to be dedicated to my family, my friends, and my life. The words my father told me that summer live on in me. That’s why I believe in all-star teams, in dedication, in hard work, and in the ten little words my dad left behind.