Hey everyone. I just want to let you know that I promise the story will get better and its not all about baseball. it's a love story. I'm just asking for you guys to give my story a chance a read it. Please don't forget to review**** I want to know what I can do to make it better. Thanks!
Me and my Dad were alike in every way. Mom use to laugh and say things like "Come on little Dan" or "Now which one is my son and which one is my husband." That's how bad it was. I looked like a clone of my Father. I had the same hair, same eyes, same everything. The only thing I had of my Mother's maybe was my skin which is not as pale as my Father's.
Everyone use to laugh when they saw me and my Dad walking around with each other. We use to both wear the same hat. We wore our favorite baseball team, the Mets, hat when we went out. Being a New Yorker my whole life I was a full time Mets lover.
That is another thing about me and my dad. We were obsessed, crazy, hard core baseball fans. Dad was an incredible baseball player. They said he could hit more homeruns then anyone in New York. Dad swears that he would of made it all the way to the big game if it wasn't for the lung problems he developed from smoking way to much.
I guess it only made sense that Dad's only son would become a great baseball player. And I was. I was amazing, I knew it. Not to be cocky or anything, I'm really not like that but I am a great pitcher. I could pitch better then anyone. In all my games I was there star pitcher, people watching me, seeing if I was good enough to be what my father couldn't.
Baseball and our looks made us almost twins. Baseball was safe to say my reason to live from age 3 to 17. All my life I remember going to baseball games or playing baseball. I can tell you my finest moments right now.
Like one of the best times I can remember was going to a Mets game. God I loved going to a baseball games. I would wake up really early on a hot summer day. So early the sun was not even up yet. I would change into my Mets T-shirt and pull on some random shorts I could find in my dresser or on the floor. I would comb my dark blond hair then put on my favorite Mets hat that I always wore. I go on a search for clean socks then lace up my sneakers.
After I was dressed I would run to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I make sure I looked ok then hop down the stairs. By then the sun was up enough to see. Dad would be up, like always. He always was up early, like me. He was usually a late sleeper but any baseball game, even mine would wake him up the minute the sun was in the sky. Dad would sit at the kitchen table with the sport section of the newspaper open. He have a bowl of cereal and a hot cup of coffee in front of him. He be dressed like me and for a moment I could see the future me.
Dad would always smile and say something about today's game. I would sit down in front of him, eat my cereal, drink my orange juice and just enjoy this ritual with my father.
After we were done eating we would walk to the bus stop. We wait patiently for the bus then take the train to Shea Stadium. God were those good times. Sitting in uncomfortable, colorful plastic chairs. Eating greasy hot dogs and French fries. Screaming when the Mets got a homerun or strike someone out. Booing and getting frustrated when they sucked. The ball game was always amazing time with my dad.
Another one of my greatest moment in my life was going to my own baseball game. I was always nervous before I had to pitch. So nervous I couldn't even sleep the night before. I would not talk to anyone before a game. Nobody but Dad. And that was another thing, I sucked when Dad wasn't in the crowd. Which only happened twice in my life, when dad got really sick and when my Uncle died. Other then that no matter what Dad was in the stands, smiling and cheering me on. Everyone would turn to him and say "You're the pitchers dad aren't you? Awesome arm he got there."
Yes, these were the greatest moments and there is always so many more. But none of them matter anymore. Those moment mean dirt to me now. Because I hate, no despise baseball now.
Want to know how a kid like me who's past and future seemed to have baseball in it starts to hates the sport out of nowhere?
Well I can tell you that day in detail. It was the day everything changed.
I was 16 years old and had a big game that day. The most important day probably of my whole baseball career. Scouts were in the bleachers and they had there eyes on me. If I pitched an awesome game then I would go to an amazing college where I could play baseball and not have to pay a cent. The school would pay from my education and everything till I got drafted and became a professional baseball player. Me and Dad's dreams would come true.
So imagine how nervous I had to be. I could not sit still. Normally I was a pretty calm guy but right now I was more wound up then the energetic bunny. I paced back and forth, chewing on my gum. I got tired of pacing so I sat down in the dug out. I shake my foot anxiously, scanning the crowd for my Dad. The only one in the crowd was my friend Timmy and my girlfriend at the time Penny. Penny was my best friend and maybe the only girl I ever thought I was in love with.
She sat there, smiling at something Timmy had said. Her blond hair waving in the breeze. She smiled lazily back at me with a wave of her hand. I do not wave back. Where was my dad? I got back up, pacing.
First baseman, Kevin starts laughing at me. He grabs my shoulder, giving it a squeeze. "Calm down man, its just a normal baseball game. No need to pace back and forth like a loser."
I moved out from under Kevin's hand, continuing my pacing. Kevin was really funny and a nice guy but I was not in the mood to listen to what he had to say. I looked at the bleachers, searching for a man with dark blond hair with a Mets baseball hat on, sitting next to my friend and girlfriend. That man wasn't there.
"Fuck." I said, under my breath when the coach calls us over. I barely listen to what he has to say. I just keep staring at the bleachers, waiting for Dad to pop out of nowhere.
"Campbell!" Coach shouts at me, scaring me out of my mind. "Are you paying attention?"
"Where's my Dad?" I asked, knowing Coach is close to Dad.
"Dan?" Coach asked, rubbing his chin that is covered in gray whiskers. For a moment he forgot that he needed to be a coach and not just a friendly neighborhood. "I saw him early today, said his lungs were acting up but that he would not miss this game for anything."
I don't even know if this makes me feel better or worse. My stomach felt like it was doing 50 black flips in a row. "Now come on Kendall, Dan will be here soon. Just get your head in the game."
The game started and I took my places on the mound. I threw a few balls at the catcher who ran around trying to catch them. "What are you doing Kendall?" Kevin asked, throwing a ball I had threw way off right back to the catcher.
"I need my Dad." I said honestly. If I was one thing I was forever honest. Got that from my dad to.
"Damn Ken." Kevin said, shaking his head. "Coach can you call Mr. Campbell."
"Yep." Coach called, pulling out his cell phone.
After a few more horrible pitches the game started. God did I suck without my dad in the bleachers. I could hear the people from the stand screaming at me to do better. I could see my teammates giving me dirty, confused looks. I could see the other team smiling. I could see the Coach's face turn pale as he talked into his cell, ignoring the most important game we ever played.
All I could seem to do was suck. I threw balls or hit the other team with the ball. I threw balls that were easy for the other team to hit. I was a failure without my Dad. My beautiful look a like father who has always been my support.
By the end of the first inning the other team has all ready 3 points. I ran to the dug out.
"Thanks." Said number 6 on the other team as he passed me, smiling.
"What the fuck Kendall." Said Kevin as he threw his mitt down. "You were striking out everybody who even bothered to pick up that bat and now your tripping over your own 2 feet!!!"
Everyone on my team shot me killer looks. "I need my Dad. I'll do better once his here." I said, knowing that I sounded like I was five years old all over again.
"Damn Kendall." Kevin said under his breath before he threw himself into his seat, grabbing his water bottle. He had to keep running around to catch those stray balls, he must be tired.
Coach walked over to us, his hat twirling in his hand. I expected him to be screaming and throwing a fit like he is known to do before when we suck but right now he looked like we were kicking his dog.
"Campbell can I talk to you." He said, not meeting my eye. I notice now that he was crying. My stomach got that sick feeling again.
I rubbed my sweaty palms on my stripped pants. "What coach?"
"I am so sorry." He said, finally looking up at me. Tears streaked down his face. Oh no. God no. Please no.
I felt the tears fill up in my eyes. "Your father." Coach said, his voice sounded like he was underwater. "He died. He got into a car accident on his way here. Your mother said he suffered a fatal hit. He died on the spot. You need to get home right away. I'll send Spud in. I'll also tell the scouts." Coach pulled me into a hug. "I am sorry."
I lost it then. My Dad, the man who was my best friend and idol was dead. Murdered by me. If I didn't make him come then maybe he be alive. The thought made me completely lose it. I grabbed a bunch of balls and began throwing them into the field. I grabbed a bat and swung it at the cooler. I hit the wall and the chairs. I did so much damage to not only the field but to myself that they had to call off the game and take me to the hospital.
With my hand broken and gushing blood I began to scream. "DAD!!!!" I yelled as they pulled me away to the ambulances. "DADDDDDD!!!!"
When I got to the hospital they wrapped my arm in a cast and told me all the damage I had done to myself. I had broken not only my hand but my arm. It is crazy how I did not even feel it. I said nothing while I was there. When people came in I would ignore them completely, staring into space.
Even Penny. When she walked into the room I felt the need to scream at her to leave.
"Oh my god." She said, with tears in her eyes. She walked over to me, wrapping her arms around my shell of a body. "That was horrible watch, I can only imagine. If my Father- Kendall are you ok?"
"Are you all right?"
I pushed her away from me. Her face looked so hurt as she stood there.
"Baby?" She asked softly.
"Go away." I said, wanting her to leave. Wanting her to leave forever. "I hate you! Go away!!" I yelled. She shook her head, unbelieving. It made sense that she think I was kidding around. A few minutes before the game I had whispered loving words in her ears and kissed her lips. I had said I loved you and now I was telling her to go away. It was confusing her.
"You don't mean that."
"Don't you get it?" I asked, cruelness dripping into my every word. "I never want to see you again. You're a dumb girl who means nothing to me. Get over it. Leave me alone!!!"
She began to sob. Her brown eyes overfilling with tears. Sweet, sweet Penny. I hurt her. She was nothing but good to me and I caused her pain she didn't deserve, just because I wanted to be alone in my misery. It was to late. I lost her forever.
She ran out the room into Timmy's arms. He shoot me a disgusted look before directing Penny to the closes bathroom.
I was alone for a good half hour before Mom came. I was alone to think, which was a bad idea. All I could think about is Dad. Dad laughing. Dad smiling. Dad frowning. All I could think about is how much alike we were. How I was just a younger, more healthier vision of him. I remember all the times we went to the Mets game. I remember all the times he went to my games. I remember him teaching me to hit and pitch. I remember practicing late at night to pitch when I was young just so I could impress him and then his surprised face when I showed him.
That was the great thing about dad, he always seemed so surprised by the little things.
I began to sob once more. I just stopped when Mom walked in.
Mom was beautiful, even for her age. She was full of light and happy. She seemed to always have a smile when she saw dad. They have been in love since they were 16 and nothing but death could stop that.
I loved my Mom. It was one of the many things me and Dad had in common. We loved and protected Madison Campbell.
I was completely shocked to see her so messed up and miserable. She never looked like this. "My baby!" she yelled when she saw me, throwing herself in my arms. I brushed her thick brown hair with my fingers as she cried into my shoulder.
"We're going to be ok Mom." I said through my tears. "let's go home Mommy."
We left the hospital later that night. We drove to mom's sister Aunt Alba's house where we stayed, scared to go home where memories of Dad were waiting to haunt us. The next day after that I got a call from one of the scouts at the baseball game yesterday.
"Hello is this Kendall Campbell?" Said a deep voice on the other end of the line.
I rubbed my swollen eyes. "Yeah." My voice sounded dead to my own ears. "Who is this?"
"This is John White, one of the scouts at the game yesterday." He said. I felt my hand tighten on the receiver.
"And?" I asked coldly.
"Oh well I just called to tell you that you still have a chance son." Said Mr. White, a little surprised by my hostility. "Under the certain circumstances you can not be held responsible for your game yesterday. I have seen you pitch before and you are….amazing. Talent like that is hard to find, so at your next game we will see where we can take this baseball thing alright?"
And then I said the words that changed my life forever. "Oh hey umm Mr. White yeah go fuck yourself. You and everyone who likes baseball. Fuck you!"
"Excuse you? Campbell I unders-" With that I hung up on my future. That was the beginning of my horrible behavior and the end to my baseball love.
A year later…
"That's it Kendall, I am done." Mom said, her face pink with anger. I sat back in the kitchen chair that my dad use to sit in every morning before a game. I crossed my arms, looking out the window. I could see the streets of the New York City's below us.
"How can you do that to Kevin? You use to be such great friends when you played baseball. How can you beat him up? Why would you? Everybody said he asked you a friendly question and you just nailed him in the face. Sadly I believe that. What happen to you…" and so on and so on. This seemed to be my role in life now. Once it was to play baseball now its to listen to people yell at me about my horrible actions.
I never explain myself though. Even though mom has been begging me to explain myself I won't. I always been quiet and sort of shy like my dad but since his death I barely said two words to more then one person. I just stop talking. I only talk when I have to but even then its no more then a few words.
I also been getting into a lot of trouble. I failed almost every class. I come home late. I gave up baseball and all my old friends. I treat woman like shit. And of course the fighting. I been doing that a lot lately.
Kevin really deserved it though this time. Yeah maybe I went a little overboard but still. When I was getting ready to skip math Kevin had stopped me in the hallway.
He had his arm around Penny which bothered me. It shouldn't considering the fact I ended it in the first place. But my heart will always crave Penny, she was my first love.
"Hey Ken." Kevin said, smiling. Penny smiled a little but quickly turned away, like seeing me was enough to kill her.
When I did not say hi back to Kevin he went on. "Hey I know you haven't been playing ball these days and I get it but we need you. Steve Spud sucks as a pitcher. Your the best pitcher out there. We need you man. Can you please just come back?"
"No." I said, this is where he really got me started. As I was turning around ready to leave, Kevin grabbed my shoulder and turned me around. That itself would of got him a punch to his mouth but what he said next was to much for me to handle.
"Come on Kendall. You know your dad would of never wanted you to act like this." With that I swung at his face, starting a fight with what use to be one of my best friends. My ex girlfriend screaming her head off the whole time.
Now I sit here listening to mom go on and on and on about what a terrible person I am.
"What am I going to do with you?" Mom said, sinking down in her seat, exhausted. For a moment I felt guiltily, Dad would never let mom look like this. Oh pa.
"I don't know." I say, keeping my eyes out the window. I watched a little girl hold onto her dad's hand as she crossed a busy street.
"Well I think I know what to do." Mom said, grabbing my attention away from the busy street. "I love you baby but I think I know what's best for you now. You need to get away from these surroundings. These memories." Mom looked at her cup of coffee, lost in thought. I waited patiently till she snapped back to the present. "The summer starts in 2 weeks. I think the best thing for you to do is go see your Grandma Lilly and Grandpa Edwin. You can stay the summer with them in Florida. Yes, you spending the summer out of New York is the best thing to do in these times. Just to get away. How does that sound?"
It sounded like shit. No way in hell did I want to leave New York and go to yucky Florida where there is alligators and snakes and shit there. I did not want to go just so I could be trapped with old people. But like always I remained silent.
"Whatever." I said, looking at my window again.
"Oh really? Wonderful!" Mom sounded more then relieved.
And that is how I found myself on a plane heading towards Tampa Bay, Florida.