Dream of: 26 September 1998 "Fast Ball"

Having been recruited onto a baseball team, I was standing close to home plate with a catcher's mitt. As I walked over to the plate and knelt down behind it, I reflected that I had never played catcher before, and I was uncertain I would be able to handle the job. I had always considered the position of catcher a little dangerous, and I wasn't particularly pleased to be assuming this role. However some element of excitement was also in the air, and even though I was a bit apprehensive, I still wanted to play.

As the batter walked up to the plate, and I looked out at the pitcher, I knew I needed to give some kind of signal of what kind of ball to throw. Since I had no idea what any of the signals meant, I simply held my right index finger down between my legs. When the pitcher saw the signal, he acknowledged it, wound up and threw. I could barely see the ball coming, it was moving so fast. I completely missed the ball as it flew past me, hit the wall behind me, and bounced back into the field. I was amazed by the speed of the ball, and I didn't see how I could possibly have caught it, especially since I had never tried to catch a ball like this before.

I stood up and walked out onto the field. I pointed out to someone that my catcher's mitt seemed to be too large for my hand, and that it didn't seem to fit right. The person told me that a little leather loop was inside the mitt and that I should stick my index finger into the loop. When I felt the loop, I stuck my finger through it. He was right — the mitt now seemed to fit better. I walked back over to the plate, again knelt down and gave the same signal. Again the pitcher wound up and threw.

This time the ball hit the edge of my catcher's mitt and bounced off. The ball had hit so hard, it had startled me. Clearly this was indeed a dangerous game, and I had second thoughts about continuing the play. But I still wanted to go on. Even though I was scared that I was going to end up being injured, somehow I was still enjoying myself.

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