The night Tommy wore his pinstriped uniform and broke the lamp in the living, his mother stripped him of his bat and sent him to his room.
Tommy’s baseball world came to life in his room. Baseballs jumped off Tommy’s sheets and bounced and bounced. Bats dropped from the ceiling lining the carpet. The poster of Yankee stadium grew and grew until the door to the clubhouse opened and the crack of a bat echoed off the walls.
A golf cart sprung out of the door and winked.
Tommy jumped in the cart and it took off through the door on the poster. The cart drove through the dugout and dumped Tommy in the bullpen.
“Warm up!” barked the coach.
A pitching rubber appeared under his feet. Tommy stepped back with his right foot , turned on his left, arched and released a ball with all his might. The ball smacked the leather of the catcher’s glove with a familiar thud.
The catcher signaled for the breaking ball. Tommy nodded and delivered.
In the distance, a coach in the dugout tapped his right arm.
“Go time.” whispered the catcher.
Tommy was nudged from behind by the golf cart and he fell onto the seat. The cart sped through the outfield to the pitcher’s mound and the crowd erupted with cheers asTommy stepped off.
Coach rubbed the ball and placed it in Tommy’s glove. The rugged scent of leather calmed his nerves as he fingered the laces, then wiped the sweat from his brow with the back of his hand. He leaned in and caught the fast ball sign from the catcher.
The silence sliced the air. Hearts stopped beating as one as Tommy delivered the pitch.
“Stee….rike,” rang from the burly umpire.
The stadium shook as fans jumped in euphoria. Tommy felt the arms of teammates wrap around him as he was brought to the ground in excitement.
“Tommy, come on.”
“Tommy, wake up.” Urged a familiar voice.
With the scent of lingering leather and the taste of dirt in his mouth, the cheers of the crowd subsided. Tommy rubbed his sleepy eyes and returned his mother’s smile.
“Looks like you had a great dream,” said Mom.