Earlier this year, I worked with several students at Heritage Middle School in Ringgold, Georgia. I shared my tips for writing stories about keepsakes and encouraged them to give storytelling and writing a try.
Taylor Dyer was one of those students. I love his hook—the way he opens his keepsake story with the tension of a close ball game. I also love the way he articulated the sound of a baseball being hit with a bat—"BANG." I know that sound. As I read Taylor's story, I could hear that sound in my head.
Enjoy Taylor's story, "The Autographed Baseball."
“Go! Go! Go!” the fans roared. It was the last inning of the game and the Ringgold Tigers were down by one point. There was a runner on second and third with two outs.
I have played baseball since I was very young, especially with the Ringgold Tigers select team. When I was young, baseball became a habit for me, but as I grew older, baseball started to fade away from my life.
I enjoyed playing baseball with my friends Dalton, Blake, and Wyatt, along with my other friends. Our team had won many games including the Region Championship where I had made two out of three outs in the final inning to win the game.
One of the things I enjoyed most about baseball was hanging out with my friends all the time. We would always go somewhere after my game, whether it was out to eat, to an amusement park, or over to a friend’s house to spend the night.
When I was ten years old and my team made it to the World Series, we went to Panama City, Florida. My team and I had a blast. We ate at lots of restaurants where we devoured delicious food. We won most of our games including one against a team that Tom Glavine’s son pitched on. For those of you who aren't familiar with Tom Glavine, he is a legend. He was a left handed pitcher for the Atlanta Braves during the late 1990s.
The other team we were facing had maintained the lead throughout the majority of the game, but in the last inning of the game, our team rallied. We scored consecutive runs that put us down by only one run. There were runners on second and third and two outs.
My friend Peyton was up to bat. He didn’t swing at the first few pitches, then, “BANG!” He nailed a grounder up the middle of the field allowing both runners to score, giving us the victory. It was a hard-battled game, but we came out with the victory.
After the game, my family and I went to the opposing team’s dugout where we met Tom Glavine. He autographed my baseball and my baseball hat. I was so excited that I met one of my favorite major league players. When we returned home to Georgia from Florida, I put my baseball in front of my window in my bedroom so I could admire it every day. The ball smelled like leather, just like my baseball glove.
As I started losing interest in baseball, I began to appreciate the ball even more. It brought back so many great memories of playing baseball with my friends. Since all of my friends on my team now attend different schools, I hardly ever see them. No matter how much I hated the hot weather, or how many times I said, “ I don’t want to play baseball,” my autographed baseball will always make me miss the greatest moments of that time.
—Taylor Dyer, Heritage Middle School
Taylor also sent this photo of himself and a teammate standing with Tom Glavine. I'm sure that was an exciting moment for him and his friends. And kudos to Tom Glavine for signing balls and posing for photos, even though his son's team lost that day.
Thank you for sharing your story, Taylor. Keep writing! You are a wonderful storyteller, and we certainly need more storytellers in the world moving into the future. Best of luck to you!