While watching the Cubs and Indians battle tonight, my mind drifted to this storyline from Turn Two . . .
The game, just like the series, was a war. The crowd was on their feet throughout all nine innings and certainly got their money’s worth. The lead had been a back and forth exchange.
With two outs in the top of the ninth and a man at second, Big Daddy, the cleanup man, came to the plate, quite possibly the go ahead run. He had already fouled two 400 feet down the right field line. Tension was thicker than the fog rolling in from centerfield.
Terrence and his team were only one out away from a World Series win, but if Big D had his way, LA would chase their opponents in the bottom of the ninth.
The wind up came. Alarm rang throughout the crowd as the crunch of the ball meeting wood created a monumental wince. A screaming line drive was hit to the six hole. The base runner jetted upon contact. Terrence reacted quickly. His stretched body nearly aligned horizontal as he dove across the hole. He almost snagged the ball, but it hit the tip of his glove and rolled into shallow left field. As he scrambled to locate it, the runner was rounding third. Once spotted, with blazing speed Terrence took a hook slide and scooped up the ball. Then, with finesse, he popped up and fired the ball home in a side arm motion so fast and direct that it appeared shot from a
cannon. The ball was approaching the plate at the same time as the outstretched leg of the tying run. The catcher was in position to make the play. The ball stung him as it whacked into his glove pocket. He tagged the runner’s cleat, but into and through him the runner slid, knocking him off balance and over. He twice rolled and then popped up, showing the umpire the ball within his glove. The umpire took one giant step forward and threw down the half windmill overhand gauntlet, “YOU’RE OUT! GAME OVER!”
Cheering roared loudly from the stadium, to the streets, throughout the city, and around the country. Many remained in shock, wondering whether they actually saw Terrence make arguably one of the greatest defensive plays in history. The replay on the stadium big screen confirmed that in-fact the throw was just in the- nick-of-time. The crowd roared louder each time the play was repeated.
Hoarse commentators everywhere shouted repeatedly, “I can’t believe he made that play!”
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.