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by Frank Shortt
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This was one of the many comebacks of The Babe.
Babe approached the plate, resembling a steer with one horn. He had forgotten he
smoked. A large, black Italian stogie protruded from the side of his mouth. The umpire called,
"Hey you cannot do that!"
aged, he had grown indifferent. He waved the umpire off as he would a pesky fly, stepping to his turn at bat with all the confidence
of a talented beginner. He was forgiven a lot because of his status. He pointed politely showing the goal of his intentions. Inside
he felt as though his guts would spill out at any minute. He smiled faintly at his fans as he always did before the first pitch.
The first delivery was high and inside. Babe had to step back a bit as the pitcher had intended. Babe was only feeling him out. He
also felt the pressure mount inside! The ump had cried,
The second pitch was outside below the knees. "Ball," cried
Babe was not one to allow a third pitch to get by, no matter where the pitcher intended it to go.
The missile fairly flew
through the air, straight down the middle. As Babe swung, the hickory, Louisville Slugger bat splintered in all directions. Men were
ducking under benches or anywhere they thought might be safe from the flying shrapnel, covering their vital parts. The ball flew out
of Fenway Park, probably breaking windows outside the walls. He had delivered again for his fawning fans.
Babe haughtily walked
the bases, head held high, puffing his black stogie. Gasping for breath, blowing smoke rings, his insides felt as though thousands
of needles pricked his ribcage.
"Could this be my last at bat? Is this the day the fat lady sings?"
The crowd roared as Babe utterly
fell into the dugout. Scarlet spewed from his nose and mouth. Had not one of the other players caught him, he would have possibly
been laid up with broken ribs, or worse yet, a punctured lung.
Through all the pain and agony and the uncertainty of the situation,
"I'll be back tomorrow!"
This is the way of winners!