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Missed death by a decimeter


We went to a baseball game the other night. I like baseball. Darling wife prefers American football. I like baseball because it’s easier to see what’s happening on the field and not lose track of the ball in a welter of hirsute bodies crashing together. Plus baseball has organ music. And hot dogs. And plenty of time to talk without missing anything, because most of a baseball game has the players standing around doing nothing. Kind of like fishing, only with the chance of serious injury from a speeding ball.

The stadium was a very nice stadium for a minor league team, and the stands were perhaps half-full. The problem was that, despite signs being posted every three meters warning spectators “Watch for foul balls,” signs don”t really prevent injury. We saw at least two people get struck by foul balls flying into the stands, and at least five foul balls went up, over, and behind the stands into the concession area.

One of those five balls went right over us, and straight down into the concession area. A boy of perhaps twelve was walking along with his popcorn, and the ball came straight down out of the sky and smashed into the concrete next to him, missing him by perhaps a decimeter. He was so surprised that he couldn’t react. The ball bounced high over his head, ricocheted off the wall behind him, and bounced back toward the stands, where a group of children scrambled wildly for it.

The boy froze for a moment, realizing he’d just narrowly escaped serious injury or death. Then he resumed walking, looking up hesitantly, expecting another white bolt from above. None came.

I’m glad he survived the game.

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