The roar behind the pitcher told him what the crowd wanted: a strike. He could end this game now, in the bottom of the ninth inning, if he threw just one more strike.
But instead he threw a pitch that the batter swung for, desperately. The ball sailed towards first base just outside the foul line—and a million eyes watched, knowing the game would end if only the first baseman caught it.
“That was me,” Joe said, watching a replay on the restaurant’s television, five years later. The pitcher, Larry, sat beside him, watching the famous play again. It showed Joe running furiously, stretching with his glove as the camera zoomed in. Joe was perfectly positioned to make the catch, but somehow the ball whizzed past his glove, then bounced limply towards the wall. The next pitch, the batter doubled in two runs to win the game.
“The bases were loaded,” muttered Larry, though they both remembered it perfectly well.