Losing them, fixing them, forgetting to put them in
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Mark Gozonsky’s essay “Gritty All Day Long,” which first appeared in The Sun, was published in The Best American Sports Writing 2020. He lives in Los Angeles.
Earlier that same afternoon All-Star slugger Dave “The Cobra” Parker had revealed to me the secret of hitting: “Hit the fucker hard, and hope it goes far.” I keep this revelation enshrined in the same chamber of my heart where my rabbinical ancestors kept their favorite Scriptures.
I keep a few backyard oranges mixed in with the baseballs in the bucket I take to practice. Every time one of my teammates peeks in, he’s like, “Oranges?” question mark, when it really ought to be “Oranges!” EXCLAMATION POINT!
I thought tryouts went great. I played catcher, just catcher. You may ask, How solid was my receiving with that lingering double vision? Well, I’m happy to report that squatting behind the plate was a miracle cure.