(Publisher’s Note: This article was written by Rob Semple of Ronkonkoma, NY. He is the winner of Long Island Baseball Magazine’s Spring 2013 writing contest. Congrats to Rob and the other competitors on a job well done!)
As a diehard Yankee fan, I’ve been blessed with a lifetime of exhilarating baseball, yet for me, no professional baseball memory compares to what happened in the summer of 1982, down at cozy Hallock Park in Patchogue, N.Y., when I was a twelve year-old little-leaguer.
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning of a late-season game, a man on first, and the score tied at 12, I stepped into the batter’s box and the umpire, on account of darkness, promptly declared, “Last batter.” My father, also the coach, immediately waved me towards him, and thoroughly understanding the situation, whispered forcefully, “Swing for the fences,” before nudging me back to the plate.
To that point, I’d never hit a home-run in organized baseball (and would finish my career with two), but after the first pitch skidded in the dirt, I swung at the second with everything… Continue reading