"My fear of baseball turned into my love of baseball."



Greg West

A baseball player, Greg is taking his general education requirements at West Los Angeles College, and will transfer to a four-year university in 2012 to earn a Bachelor’s Degree.

I Remember: The Beginning to the Rest of My Life

There I was, an eight-ear-old boy pitching his first all-star game.

It was Saturday morning, and I was waking up way too early for an eight-year-old. Today was the day that started my love for the game of baseball. I was up at 6:00 AM, just so my family could pile into our car to drive to the Valley. During the baseball season that year, I played so well that I became a member of the all-star team. We were now driving to mid-Valley on the 405 Freeway, between the big hills. I still remember that big tree on the hill that always caught my eye, and I just stared. The weather was hot, but I was a kid, and all I wanted was to have fun and play baseball. When I got to the ball field, I could just feel my heart pound. I was extremely nervous. And to pile onto my being nervous, my coach told me I was pitching. All that’s going through my head is “Holy crap, I’m too scared to pitch!” We finished our warm-ups and headed to the dugout. We all took our caps off and drank some crystal-clear cold water. I was refreshed, but even more nervous. Time was counting down until I pitched, and my heart beat faster. I never had problems pitching in the season games, but this was different, pitching against other all-star teams with some extremely good kids. I had to build up some confidence; my coach wouldn’t have told me to pitch unless I was a great pitcher, so that helped me get out onto the field and up on the mound. There I was, an eight-ear-old boy pitching his first all-star game. I threw my pitches and warmed my arm up. I felt great physically, but mentally, absolutely scared. I had to toughen up, and throw my ass off so my head would clear up as soon as I heard “Play ball!” I remember that moment. A kid walks up to the plate. I look at him, but I don’t pay any attention. I start my wind-up, and BANG!—strike one to the hitter! I said to myself, “Wow, the kid looks scared, as if he came into my body and stole my fear.” For the rest of the game, I was just putting kids in the dirt. My team was backing me up on offense, and we came up with the big win. My fear of baseball turned into my love of baseball. Now, my heart has a huge spot occupied by the sport. To this day, I remember the beginning to the rest of my life.

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