Homeruns and moments that stick with you
It was an unusual summer night when I connected on what would be my only baseball homerun.
Unusually chilly for July, my team was trailing by five when I stepped to the plate at Jubilee Field in Corner Brook with two men on.
Taking a slightly open stance towards the first base, I tapped the three corners of home plate and pointed the head of the bat towards the pitcher, as was my customary pre-pitch routine. Admittedly, I stole it from then-Cleveland Indians slugger Jim Thome.
He used it for intimidation and I figured my 5’10” pudgy self could do the same. Rarely, did it intimidate pitchers. Usually they’d laugh before feeding me a steady diet of curveballs. They were jerks. He used it for intimidation and I figured my 5’10” pudgy self could do the same. Rarely, did it intimidate pitchers.
Anyway, the pitch came. I got lucky, really. It was a belt high fastball on the inside corner that came along at just the right speed.
Before I knew it, I was bringing my hands through the zone, which was followed by the bat and connecting with the ball. Looking back, it’s safe to say I got all of it.
But, when it happened I never knew I hit it hard enough to get it out of the ballpark. You swing, the ball goes into the outfield and you put your head down to run.
That’s exactly how I reacted, except my ball flew out of the field. I didn’t even see it go over the fence.
I heard someone shout, “Get out of here!” and something hit the chain link fence in right field. That’s it. I was ready to leg out a double but I got to slow down for a homerun trot.
My dad always enjoyed how Dave Henderson celebrated homeruns. The former MLB outfielder would strut around the field after hitting a bomb. He’d stick both his pointer fingers out and move his hands like he was imitating Ric Flair.
That night, dad screamed for me to do “the Parker.” He was losing his mind over the homerun. It bordered on fanatical.
I almost passed the runner ahead of me, coincidentally my brother, which would have nullified the round tripper. He turned around on the third baseline to give me a double high five.
I wanted no part of it. We could do it at home plate.
There are plenty of those moments growing up playing any game. Those benchmark moments you will never forget.
It doesn’t matter where you are in life or how old you are. You’ll always remember the night you did something extraordinary.
Unless you’re playing some form of high-level baseball, homeruns are not that plentiful. There are nights where the ball is flying out, but those are few and far between.
Maybe it’s a game winner in basketball or hockey. Or a bases clearing pinch-hit double.
Either way, you don’t forget the big moments.