I love baseball. I grew up a Dodgers fan. On many warm summer nights, my grandfather would sit on the red painted front porch listening to games from his transistor radio, greeting neighbors as they strolled by. Occasionally, one of them would inquire about the score. Often times, I was pulled to the porch steps by a voice that vividly described the game and made it exciting, even for a young girl.
Some years later, I met this young man who too loved the game. Our date nights were usually spent at Dodger stadium. I was so thrilled to finally see Vin Scully in person, the man behind those captivating descriptions of play. We’d usually sit in the loge section, third base side. Like many other fans, I would toss bubblegum down to Dusty.
I wanted so badly to bring my grandfather to a game, but his health wouldn’t permit him the treat. On the rare occasion that my boyfriend caught a foul ball, I was ecstatic because that meant I could bring a piece of the game home to him.
Several years later my boyfriend and I married. We now enjoy watching our son play professional baseball. I wish my grandfather was still here, sitting in the stands with us...he would be proud.
Here’s an excerpt from Turn Two:
The crowd rose in unison as Terrence left the on deck circle and approached the plate. He took his stance and settled in to receive the pitch. “Strike one!” shouted the umpire. The crowd cheered. Silently fuming, Terrence backed out of the box, shaking his head and tapping his cleats with the bat. He had just missed the opportunity at a fastball right down the middle - although he had no plans of swinging at the first pitch. His strategy going in was to see as many pitches as possible from the tiring warrior. Then, as the signal from the catcher appeared cross, the catcher called time and strolled to the mound to resolve the confusion. Terrence took the opportunity to back out of the box and refocus.
Now with a mean lean, left hand behind his back, the King of the Hill glowered at Terrence, as if he was prey. The long stare down this time resulted in Terrence signaling for time. He stepped out and took a couple of swings.
Tina Denise was born and raised in Southern California. She is married and has two wonderful children, a son who is a professional athlete and an academically talented daughter. She has enjoyed a long career in commercial real estate and is an avid sports enthusiast, both which serve as the backdrop for her debut novel.