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A Passion for Baseball
Michael, Age 15, Leesburg, VA

My family and I were on our way up to Fairfield College to watch my cousin, Doug, play baseball. It was a cold and frosty day, but it was worth seeing one of my family members play college baseball.

It began with Doug’s dedication to play the game of baseball. He started when he was age three, playing with sticks and sunflower seeds. Even though he failed hitting the seeds most of the time, he kept on trying and never quit.

As Doug continued to progress, he got a lot better. At age four he played on a seven year old all-star team and he was exceptionally good. He started at shortstop and basically got a base hit every time he was up. Doug also showed a lot of frustration in his early years of baseball. If he made a defensive error or didn’t get a hit, he threw his baseball items. One time, the umpire had warned him to not throw his helmet and guess what, he did. The umpire threw him out of the game and he had to go home. But as Doug aged on, he started to control himself when he made a mistake. Soon, Doug had grown up and now was age nine, and playing on a twelve year old state team. His coach said to him, “Doug, you’ve got talent, now it’s time to use it.”

As easy as it sounds, baseball is one of the hardest and most complicated sports of them all. Baseball is also very frustrating when things don’t go your way. When Doug wanted lessons to learn how to play better, he wasn’t able to. He got frustrated at his parents and had tantrums and started throwing things around the house.

The one thing Doug strived for in life was to be the best. Doug worked every day for countless hours getting into shape and practicing baseball. He had his dad set up a batting cage in their backyard so Doug was able to hit and throw. His dad also bought a very expensive pitching machine so Doug was able to hit on his own. The thing that still impresses me the most about Doug’s career is that he did everything on his own.

As Doug grew older, he started realizing he was able to help other young kids how to play baseball. Doug now helps at least two kids every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. He is very successful with his helping. Doug has gave me lessons in the past, and I have become a better player while following his instructions.

As we sat down in the bleachers to watch Doug play, I thought to myself, “Wow, I can’t believe that he taught me how to play baseball, my own cousin.”

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