Munenori's Espresso Stand suggested making this a FanPost, so what the heck.
Tomorrow night I will be the starting pitcher against the Aquasox in an exhibition/tune-up for the frogs before their season gets underway on Friday night. The team I am playing for this summer is the Everett Merchants. We too play our home games at Everett Memorial Stadium, but with much less fan fare. The Everett Cup, as it is called, is played every year just before the NWL season begins. The Merchants have won the game a couple of times, but have generally lost in close contests. It is a unique experience for us amateurs to be able to play in a professional-ish game, with minor league umpires and balls, in front of more than the 50 fans we are accustomed to. I am coming off of my junior year (but first year) at Northwest Nazarene University. I spent the previous three school years at Bellevue College (I red-shirted my second year). I am only participating with this team on a part time basis as I am working at Bellevue Golf Course for most of the summer. However, when they asked me to start the game tomorrow night, I couldn't refuse. I pitched in this game two years ago and recorded two strikeouts in 1.3 innings of work. I finished my outing by striking out Patrick Kivlehan on three straight fastballs. The cheering section over our dugout was ecstatic, as was our coach.
Harold Pyatte has been running this team for over 30 years, I believe. He has been inducted into the National Baseball Congress Hall of Fame. For him, this game means everything. He loves seeing his team play right there with the professionals. While they are being paid to play, we are paying to play. It is the highlight of his summer, year in and year out, to go take the field with future major leaguers.
I still have hopes to being drafted following my senior year. Having four former teammates be selected this past weekend makes me want it even more. I want that same experience they are going to have. I am 6'5'' and left handed, so I have a chance, if only I could find 3 miles an hour. I have a year to do it. Hopefully, I am able to open some eyes, starting tomorrow night.