Thr pitch was twenty years in the making, and it was all she had ever wanted for her boy, Randy. Growing up with seconds and thirds - it was the grinding best she could do for three kids with her two and a half jobs - Randy really never much noticed that as the youngest boy, he was also the last in line. As a kid, he was too busy slugging balls to feel the tightness around the shoulders of his oldest brother's cast-off jersey. He was too enthralled with pitching accuracy to wait for his left-handed middle brother's glove, so he just learned to throw as a southpaw and as a right-hander. And, as he grew into a teen, Randy would play ball deep into the night with his brothers, with any other kids in their trailer park or even by his lonesome.
Choosing which scholarship to accept was entirely up to Randy. His mom was still constantly working - she couldn't kick the habit - and his brothers had long skipped the impoverished midwest town. His teachers wanted to help guide the solitary youth, but aside from pitching and batting partners, Randy preferred his own company. He studied alone, ate alone and rode the bus alone.
For Randy, the easiest part of university life had been selecting the scholarship. He'd had his mom reject the recruiters' offers and enticements. Too time-consuming. So, he put the nine scholarships on the kitchen table, shuffled them into a stack, closed his eyes and pulled one out.
The university's head baseball coach was so over the moon after Randy's first at-bat in regular season, he took the entire recruiting team to a Michelin dinner and slipped each one a couple of World Series passes for later that year. After all, they deserved a lot of credit for recruiting a pitcher who could bat. And damn, unlike most pitchers, could Randy bat! Coach wouldn't have believed it if he hadn't seen it. A freshman switch-pitcher and switch-hitter had driven a change-up high, high over the astonished, gape-mouth crowd for a grand slam in the ninth inning. The very next game, Randy was the starting pitcher and clean-up hitter.
Randy signed with the Major League ball club of his dreams, bought his mom her dream house, married a dreamy-eyed model and had two little girls who both dreamed baseball. He never, ever told anyone, well, except his mom when he was six, about this one dream he wished more than anything would happen for him. It was admitedly a little...out there. Maybe even impossible, but what are dreams without that?
The wind-up to the pitch had slightly quieted the crowd that had gone irredeemedly beserk after Randy hit his third grand slam in the seventh and final World Series game. The score was 12-0; every RBI driven in by Randy. The count was three and two. Three balls, two strikes.
Randy released the pitch, a fast ball. The batter was a baseball hero, and he was more than ready for Randy and his bag of baseball pitching tricks, but he anticipated a slider and went for it anyway.
Swish! The pitch smacked into the catcher's mitt. Strike three!
The crowd was incoherent.
Outside the stadium, Randy's mom was buying every single piece of World Series Championship memorabilia with Randy's name or face on it. She was laughing and crying and hugging strangers while the radio announcers voiced their delight over the speakers.
"Yes, folks! Never before in the history of major league ball have we seen a starting pitcher finish the Series with a shut-out and twelve runs all batted in by him! Remarkable, just remarkable! Oh, here he comes now. Let's see if we can get a word from him. Randy! Randy! We just talked to your mom and she said you've been planning this for twenty years...."