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Worth a Broken Window
Michael, Age 12, Easton, CT

“Oh, wow! the Yanks will clinch a spot to go to the Playoffs, knocking the Sox out too! What a catch by Mickey to end such an important game! I cannot believe”… As loud as Phil Rizzuto was on the little WC radio next to me, it couldn’t overpower the roar of the crowd, which was going wild over Mickey Rivers’ catch. By the applause, I assumed it was a phenomenal catch. I couldn’t see deep center from the angle of my deck. The towering walls of Yankee Stadium also blocked my view of deep right. Boy was I lucky that my family’s apartment was only about a hundred feet from the stadium. It’s an okay spot to watch the games. My deck was just a little bit higher than the walls, so I could look down on the games. Once, my father took me to the best known spot outside of the stadium to see a game. It was right behind the right field walls. We stood on the rooftop of the highest apartment building near the stadium. I had a great clear view of the whole field. It was the best experience in my life. However, I still haven’t been inside to see a game yet.

My name is Michael. I am turning eleven in two months. I live as an only child. My parents wanted to have another child, but they didn’t think they had enough money to support another. My family is on the poorer side. My dad would love to take me to a real Yankees game, but we don’t have the money. We can barely afford to live in our small apartment. But, with my love for The Yanks, and a seat right outside our apartment, I didn’t feel the need for any money. My favorite Yankee player is definitely Reggie Jackson. Every time he hits the ball, I feel that the ball could actually reach me.

The talk at school throughout the week was all about the Yanks and how Mickey Rivers’ catch sealed the Playoff spot. My friends filled me in on how he jumped up and brought it down, smashing into the wall. The Yankees faced The Kansas city Royals in the divisional Series of the Playoffs. The team had a decent lineup, and an outstanding rotation. The series was now split and forced a game five. Everybody was saying how the Yanks stood no chance, but I begged to differ. “We’ll see what happens tonight,” I started saying, “we’ll see.”

It was five minutes until game time. I unfolded my old beach chair and set my WC radio to the right channel. I sat down just in time to see Mickey Rivers get a leadoff single into left field. However, the Royals showed their great pitching off by striking out three batters in a row, leaving the Yanks fans groaning. It went on like this into the 8th. Although their starting pitcher was rolling, the Royals showed him barely any support, only scoring one run. The 8th was a different story. Both teams smacked two home runs. For the Yankees, Bucky Dent and Thurman Munson hit the homers. In the 9th, Goose Gossage pitched a perfect inning, striking out the side with ease. Then the game was down to the line, with my man Reggie Jackson up at the plate. It wasn’t only me, but I could feel the tension in the silent and nervous crowd too. The Yankees were still down a run..(4-3) The bases were loaded with two outs. Fans knew Reggie could produce, but with all of this pressure, who k new? Jackson let the first pitch go by, for a strike analyzing the very cautious pitcher. The pitcher knew as well, one mistake and game over. Either the pressure got to the pitcher, or he was trying to pitch him real tough, because he threw three straight balls. Even in the distance, I had a feeling Reggie had a fiery look in his eyes. He had gone zero for four. He was probably angry. He didn’t want to tie the game up with a walk; he wanted to bury this team into the ground. Assuming Reggie was going to take a few pitches looking for a walk, the Royals pitcher lobbed a very hittable pitch. It was a giant mistake. Jackson swung his lumber like a wild Little Leaguer, and absolutely clobbered it. Now, once or maybe twice a game somebody hits a ball hard enough that I can hear a “crack” from connection. This time, the bat didn’t quite make a “crack,” it “boomed.” The baseball launched off the bat like fireworks. By the time the team and t h e fans knew what was happening, the baseball was a red little dot zooming over the fence and heading for the walls that no baseball had ever leaped before. Although the center field and left field walls stood like towers, the ball sailed over them like they were the real fences that had been offended by home runs many times before down below. Still coming, it was quickly closing the one hundred feet between. I was so thrilled, I barely had time to get a hold of myself, and dive out of the way. Finally, the ball bounced on the deck once, shattered my sliding door window, and made itself at home; landing perfectly on my bed.

My breath was caught in my throat. I was so stunned. It didn’t even matter to me that the Yanks were heading to the World Series again; I was focused on the baseball. It was the closest that I had ever gotten to a baseball that was a real one, not a pair of socks or a crumpled piece of paper. I walked over to it and gently cupped it into my hands. It was darkened on one side, probably from where Reggie hit it. The red seams were still stitched on tightly and seemed to glow in the light from the lamp over my bed. “Wow,” I kept on repeating. I wondered if I was dreaming. My mom and dad soon walked in; worried because of the sound of broken glass from my sliding door window. Once I briefly explained what had happened, they were as thrilled as I was! My dad suggested keeping it, but I knew what I had to do. People would pay good money for something like this to be theirs.

By the next day, my family and I were in the newspaper along with the Yankees. We even heard that we were on TV from our neighbors! (We didn’t own a television set) Before I knew it, there was even more information on my family, and people found out that financially, we not doing so well. Next week, we even got cards in the mail sending us money! The cards and checks just to kept on coming. My family couldn’t have been happier, but the generous and caring people wouldn’t stop. The Yankees team also sent my family a huge donation, worth over hundreds of dollars! The team gave me a shirt and hat, too! By then, my ideas of selling my Reggie Jackson home run ball disappeared, and I kept it as a memory. When the World Series started, my family bought tickets for all of the home games, and people even recognized me as “the kid who caught the ball.” The Yanks ended up sweeping Milwaukee, with Reggie Jackson hitting eight home runs in those games. With what h ad happened overall, I have to say that it was definitely worth a broken window.

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