Academic journal article Nine

The Pitch

Academic journal article Nine

The Pitch

Article excerpt

It was my brother's idea. Charlie, a season ticket holder of the St. Paul Saints, said, "El, you edited a book" -- Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend: Women Writers on Baseball "--why not throw out the first ball?" I'm not an athlete, that's why not. But after various finagling the Saints said cool, and there I was on the evening of July 18, 1994, at Midway (nee municipal) Stadium. The Saints, by the way, are in the unaffiliated Northern League, which the League secretary told me falls between AA and AAA. Leon Durhan is a saint and Pedro Guerrero is in the League. The mascot of Midway is a pig and--No, first I was nervous for a month. I practiced with my friend Becky. Her advice: "Don't throw it over my head--if the dog gets it she'll slobber on it and you won't want to touch it." My friend Ben threw with me a few times, until I caught a tennis ball barehanded and my finger buckled and I forgot all his pointers. Ben's advice: Well, I can't remember, but I'm sure it was good, he's awfully athletic. I believe he suggested I follow through with one more foot than I thought I had. Charlie's friend Ronnie is a retired umpire. Ronnie's advice: "Release the ball at the highest point of your delivery." My husband Johnny called from New York and advised: "Break a leg." Yeah, probably will. Charlie invited everyone he knows to a tailgate party before the game. He's not nervous, in fact, he's feeling no pain. Please please I only care that I don't humiliate myself. …

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