2014 World Series, Game 2, Bottom of the 6th: Billy Butler’s single brings Lorenzo Cain home, putting the Royals in the lead 3-2, kicking off an inning long rally that would lead to a game winning victory.
Watching this, I was immediately reminded of the wave of pride felt when landing Little League RBIs. The pride was not from the run per se. In my 11th Little League season, I averaged .016 at the plate. I wasn’t expected to hit. I was a decent fielder and had a good arm. It’s likely I was left in to bat simply because I was not the worst of the 10-12 man team. Close, but not the worst.
I’m not sure what it was about specifically about Butler’s RBI, but the memory of this feeling came racing back the way they do when the smell of ABS hits your nose after opening up your first action figure since 1992. There was something potent about it.
In an instant, I was reminded that I’ve always been a supporter. Whether it is acting as consigliere, assisting behind an email account, or starting a record label solely because I believed in the record, I’ve always been one to recognize deserving talent and do my best to help said talent get where they need to be. Even with a .016 batting average, I never tired of trying to get my teammates home. And there was no better feeling than getting the star player across the plate. For a moment, Number 1 needed Number 9. Bunting with a man on was infinitely more fulfilling than swinging for the fences with none. (Yes, even I expected to put one over. Every kid does.)
Thanks for the sense of identity, Butler. Congrats on the win.