>CIRCA THE DEAD BALL ERA

>On went the good thick greasepaint, in went the five Wrigley’s, stacked up like pancakes. On with the worn-out cleats, just worn out enough. Walking tip-toed over the short span of concrete, clinking the bat, squeezing the worn-out rubber of the handle. Hands already sweaty, already letting seeping their own fears. The thoughts of turning back, three swipes to the gods of air, furious raging cheeks. That certain glint of sun off the pitcher’s blonde head, the dust and grass doing contortionist’s tricks. The ball already dense with spit and well-spent fury, dark as sin in the dusk. The nods of ghostly faces disappearing in the twilight outfield: wound-up bodies waiting for your muscle-twitch. Here’s the wind-up. And here it comes.

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