wavewriter

United States

Writer
Reader
Swimmer
Pianist

Est. August 2020

"It's not use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then." -Lewis Carroll

Message to Readers

Final draft! Thanks to cosmogyral and katnissromanoff for the amazing reviews. Good luck to all in the competition!

Stepping Up to the Plate

September 23, 2020

    I was walking home with Betty after school one day in late May, our satchels laden with books. Like usual, we passed by Wrigley Field on the way to Betty's house for a snack as we had done so every day for four years, ever since we started high school. 
   I heard shouting and laughing from inside the field, the sounds of many people. I assumed it was the baseball team starting up practice again, except it sounded like my mother's monthly bridge club, except... my mother's bridge club? That couldn't be right. 
    "Let's go see what the noise is all about," I told Betty. We walked to the entrance of Wrigley Field, past the ticket booth and the hot dog stand, and before long, we were in the stands, built to hold a large crowd. We looked toward the field, where I saw the last thing I expected to see.
    Betty's mouth dropped open. Mine did, too; I had a gape so wide I could have eaten an entire hamburger in one bite. Well over two hundred young women stood on the field, throwing and catching baseballs. 
    "What are they doing?" Betty asked in disbelief, curls bouncing around as she shook her head. She spent more time on her curls than anything else. I could count numerous instances when we were tardy for school because she had to have perfect hair every day. 
    "Let's go find out!" I flew down the stairs and down to the field before she had a chance to respond. 
    It was the first time I had ever been on Wrigley Field. I'd been to games, of course, our family used to go to a couple of Cubs games a year. If I closed my eyes, I could hear the sounds the organ playing and shouts of "Charge!", I could taste the warm hot dog in my mouth as I watched the game. But now that it was just Mother and I in the house now, we hardly mentioned baseball. With Father and my older brothers, Robert and John, gone off to fight in the war, it felt wrong. 
    I opened my eyes, feeling a tears begin to well up at the thought of this. They'd been gone for months now, yet I could scarcely make it a day without crying. 
    "Are you okay?" I heard Betty's voice ask as a tear rolled down my cheek. 
    I nodded, barely hearing her, as a memory came flooding back, overwhelming me. 

     We were all playing baseball, Robert, John, and me. Me, the little kid with twigs for limbs, always playing catch-up with her brothers who were twins, five years her senior. I'd already struck out twice. 
    "Here comes the windup... and the pitch!" 
    The ball came toward me, not Robert's best pitch. It hit me in the stomach, taking my breath along with it. I clutched my midsection and fell to the ground. 
    "Are you okay?" Robert called.
    "See, I knew she couldn't play," I heard John say. "And we'll be in trouble for hurting her." 
    "I'm fine!" I lied. My left side ached like it had never ached before. 
    I heard my brothers' light footsteps jogging over to me. Robert held his hand out, but I ignored it and stood up on my own. "That was a ball," I said, brushing the dirt off my skirt.
    Robert and John shared I look I couldn't decipher. "I don't think you should play." 
    "Why not?" 
    "You could get hurt again," John explained. "And baseball's not really for girls anyway."
    He was right. I could get hurt again. I just had. Those words hurt more than Robert's pitch had, more than thousands of Robert's pitches would. I willed myself to tell him no, that he was wrong, that I could play baseball just as well as he could, but I couldn't. The words were lodged in my throat. I ran away, determined not to let my brothers see me cry.
    I hadn't touched a bat since. 
 
    A man in a suit and wire-rimmed glasses, the only man in sight, walked up to the two of us, interrupting my thoughts. "Are you here to try out?" he asked. 
    "Try out?" Betty and I asked in unison. 
    "For the All-American Girls Baseball League. My name's Philip Wrigley. There won't be a baseball league this summer, on account of so many men going to join the war and all, so women are going to play." He waved all around the field with his arm. 
    "But baseball isn't really for girls," Betty said. 
    I opened my mouth to agree, then closed it. 
    Baseball isn't for girls. There it was again. But why was it like that, since I was born a girl, something I had no control over, that it was strange for me to play baseball? That it was considered wrong and out of place?
    Even though I loved baseball, I'd let other people decide that baseball was absolutely something I could never do. I'd sat in the stands and let my brothers have all the fun. 
    I studied the women on the field. They'd probably been told no, too. Maybe this had always been their dream, to play professional baseball, but they'd never gotten the chance. Their faces bore expressions of pure happiness, a feeling I remembered from all those years ago, playing in the backyard. I suddenly realized that I wanted that, to pitch and catch again, to swing a bat and hit the ball as far as I could, to sprint to the bases.
    Robert and John weren't here. Now it was up to me to make my own decisions, to decide for myself that I would do what the family loved, what loved, no matter what others thought. 
    "I'm here to try out," I told Mr. Wrigley.
    I gave Betty, who shook her head and crossed her arms, a little wave before stepping out into the sun. 
    Play ball! 
Word count: 992

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  • September 23, 2020 - 7:10pm (Now Viewing)

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10 Comments
  • Writing4Life

    Great message too! I actually want to be a lifeguard at Bondi Beach, and there are 35 guys there, and 1 girl 0___0 Hopefully 2 girls in the next few years! ^^


    5 months ago
  • Writing4Life

    Awesome, love it!


    5 months ago
  • Livsnjutare (#words)

    This is so good!!! I love this story and the message!
    Girls can do anything they set their minds to.
    :D


    5 months ago
  • amazing grace

    Congrats! I knew this story would go far.


    5 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    This is great! Congrats on being a finalist!!


    5 months ago
  • Rachaelgrace (hiatus) :)

    AMAZING work! You are a great writer!


    5 months ago
  • Stone of Jade

    congrats on being a finalist!!! This is super well written!


    5 months ago
  • FantasyOtter12

    Wow this was so close!! Finalist!! <3


    5 months ago
  • acrosstheuniverse28

    I love this so much! Great use of flashbacks, and all of your descriptions were so amazing, I felt like I was right there in Wrigley Field too! Good luck in the competition!


    5 months ago
  • Coolgirl2020 (LOVE YA ALL)

    Is it cool if I review this or is it too late?


    5 months ago