Two outs, bottom of the inning, two men on base, a full count to the batter at the plate. You've all seen this situation before. Some in real life, some in movies, some in both.
The crowd is hushed, holding their collective breath, watching two men in a field of green and brown. The pitcher stands alone on the mound, a mitt resting against his left shoulder, a ball sits in his right hand, idly spinning and thumbing the ball as it is cradled against his back. The pitcher nods in agreement to the catcher's signal, then eyes the runners on the bases. He eyes the batter, then locks his gaze on to the catcher's mitt. There's the windup and the delivery. The ball screams toward the plate, the batter swings with all of his might, and the hushed silence is broken with a loud crack of the wooden bat. A hush again washes over the crowd as fans slowly rise to their feet, raise one hand flat to their foreheads to block the sunlight bearing down upon their faces, and watch the center fielder sprint towards the wall deep in the outfield. Hands spread apart and arms thrust upward toward the cloudless blue sky, clenching into fists, shaking just a bit, willing the small sports ball of woven leather over yarn and cork to sail higher and farther in to the distance. The grins breaking in to wide smiles as the ball sails over the fence. The roar of the crowd as the announcer calls “Way back, way back … IT’S OUTTA HERE!” Strangers smile at each other and exchange high-fives and exclamations in regard to the magnitude of the amazing moment.
A three run blast. There is just one bigger moment in baseball and that is the grand-slam, which happens all too rarely.
This moment did not come in a game featuring Babe Ruth or in a movie starring Robert Redford.
No, this moment came in a game at Sckavone Field in SE Portland on May 4th, 2013 between the Bridgetown Thunder and the PBC Tribe of the NWIBL.