My catcher Scott made me a better pitcher.
I was seventeen, I’d been pitching for seven years
I thought I knew what I was doing on the mound
I called every pitch
all my catchers till Scott took their signs from me
then in my first inning with Scott, new league, better, stronger batters
Scott calls for a curveball
my curveball is my worst pitch
I throw it once or twice a game just to keep the batters guessing
but I don’t trust it with runners in scoring position
still, Scott calls for the curveball
I shake him off
Scott again calls for the curve
I again shake him off
fastball, I’m all revved up for the fastball
but Scott doesn’t give up and again flashes two fingers the universal sign of the curveball
I’m starting to think that Scott’s an idiot, cause this is the third time I’ve shaken off the same sign
fastball I’m thinking
and fastball Scott finally flashes, though he gave me the sign using his middle finger
I nod and get into the set position, pitching from the stretch
checking my runners on second and third
then I rear back and throw my best mid-seventies fastball down and away
but the batter reaches down and gets it and slams it deep deep right field
scorching the line and mercifully tailing right and foul instead of left and three run homer.
Scott throws his mask in the dirt and charges the mound
I have been charged a couple times before by batters
but this was the first time my own catcher charged at me
“This guy can hit any fastball for breakfast, but he can’t hit a curve to save his life. Now you throw me a curveball and never shake me off again or I’ll fucking kill you!” Scott spat, slamming a fresh baseball in my glove and stormed off the mound.
You better believe I came back with my weak ass curveball
and wouldn’t you know it
the batter whiffed at it.
Scott flashes another deuce
there’s Scott going to the well one more time calling curveball
and my curveball never struck anyone out in Tyke
yet, the batter swats at it like it’s a feather in a hurricane
and that’s when I learned to stop thinking and pitch
after that, whatever Scott flashed was the right pitch
and I stopped thinking and started pitching
cause that’s the crazy thing about life
you are out of rhythm when you are thinking about the action.