Jack just received the following text:
The boy has received his first college acceptance. Milkshake!
Here is the essay that Jack submitted. He worked really hard on it.
Discuss an accomplishment, event, realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others?
In 2017, the Yankees made the playoffs for the first time in 4 years.
I had grown up a Yankees fan from day one, but ever since I had been old enough to truly follow them, they had been just average. The team was old and, in all honesty, kind of boring. I found myself paying more attention to the league than the team. Then 2017 happened, and that season was different. New York became fun to watch again and I became entranced by every pitch. Instead of watching with my brain, I watched them with my stomach. What was once a hobby was now a religion. My mood fluctuated with the team, pitch by pitch, game by game. My life began revolving around the Yankees. I felt baseball in my soul.
That October, the Yankees made the playoffs and were set to play in a one-game, winner-take-all series against the Minnesota Twins. Although they were young, the Yankees were a much better team and were favored to blow the Twins out of the water. But instead, they immediately went down 3-0 in the first inning. I was stunned to the point that I was shaking. I got up from my couch, went into my room, and cried.
I don’t cry much, and I don’t know why. It may be because I don’t watch enough sad movies or don’t get into nearly enough sad situations. I guess it’s just not how I handle loss or sorrow. But there I was, head in hands, sobbing over a baseball game. At that moment I realized how ridiculous this was. I was a freshman, in the middle of one of the most important academic years of my life, and I was in my room crying over a baseball game. I was being emotionally moved by the actions of men I didn’t know, in a game whose result I had no control over. There are so many hobbies I could’ve chosen that would be so much more productive than this. My brother loves to cook, and his love for that hobby is productive. My mom is an adamant anti-gun violence activist, and spends relatively all of her free time working to help a cause she believes in, an activity that is decidedly productive. But, to an outsider, baseball is in no way productive. My enjoyment of the sport doesn’t benefit anyone but myself. The amount of effort I put into something so seemingly unproductive is ridiculous, almost childish.
It was a matter of seconds before I realized I was wrong. Baseball isn’t ridiculous, it isn’t childish, and it isn’t by any means unproductive. Baseball is my life. Baseball has been the basis of my friendship with two of my oldest friends. Without baseball, I can’t imagine that I ever would’ve made those friends. We grew up playing wiffle ball together in backyards and arguing over whose team was going to win on any given night. It is also central to my relationship with my dad, who is one of the most important people in my life. Some of my fondest memories are playing catch with my dad in parking lots across the country, and going to every stadium we could. Baseball is the background music to every one of my summers. It is everything. Without baseball, I’m not the person I am today. So, I don’t find this ridiculous or childish. I find it vital.
By the way the Yankees came back to beat the Twins. Then two weeks later they were knocked out of the playoffs by the Astros.
I cried again.