Northwest NEWS

April 22, 2002

School

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Local student's 'Life and Baseball' wins State Reflections competition

Hollywood Hill Elementary 5th grader, Matt Petersen, won first place in the Washington State PTA 2001-2002 Reflections Program. His entry, "Life and Baseball" was entered in the Intermediate division in the Literature category and will now be sent on to national competition.
   Using this year's Reflections prompt, "I Hold In My Hand. . ." he related his life to baseball.
   Life and Baseball
   by Matt Petersen
   I hold in my hand . . . a baseball. The bright red seams contrast with the dirty white cover. It feels like a small perfectly round coconut that has been slightly sanded.
   Baseball has always been a big part of my life. When you think about it, the game of baseball, at least the pitching and hitting part of it, is a lot like life.
   First comes the fastball, ah, the fastball. Perfect pitch, staight down the middle, easy homerun ball. There are few things in life that could actually match up with a pitch like this, but one of those few might be finding a ten dollar bill in your pocket when you need to buy lunch. Everything works out just the way you want it to.
   Then comes the slider. It looks like a good pitch so you swing. However, it drops out of your reach before you can bring your whizzing bat to a halt.
   Something like this may be like your first impression of a popular kid at school. You think they are nice and friendly, but when you go over to their house, they cuss at you and sock you in the face. Some things in life don't always turn out the way that you think they should.
   Third, is the change-up. The pitcher's motion looks like he's going to throw a fastball, but because of his grip the ball goes super slow right out of his hand. Unfortunately, you have probably already finished your swing and have thrown the bat down out of frustration by the time the ball gets to the catcher's mitt. A change-up may be like a CD that has one really good song at the beginning but the rest are horrible. Starts out good, but then goes bad.
   After that comes the screwball. A screwball goes in a corkscrew motion and the batter can definitely see what's coming. If a screwball is thrown correctly it always goes over the plate and is almost impossible to hit. Since it's over the plate, the hitter has no choice but to swing and miss. A screwball may be like something in life that you know is going to turn out bad, but you have to do it anyway, such as buying expensive china dinner plates for guests who bring their toddlers.
   This is that last pitch but definately the best lesson: the curve ball. You may hit a home run off of it or you may take a strike. It's kind of like writing a book report. You may get a really good grade, or your teacher may not like your style and give it a bad grade. But one thing is for certain, if you don't even do it, you get a big fat "O" for your grade. If you don't at least try, you'll fail every time.
   Life is the pitcher and you are the batter. If you feel like a slider is coming, you may be smart and lay off. Or maybe you think a fastball is on the way so you swing, but instead, in comes a slider. Whatever life throws at you, take a bat in your hand and go for it.
   I hold in my hand a baseball.