Bottom Of The 9th

It has been a long time since I have had this feeling…

Walking off the mound after throwing a complete game…head held high, fans cheering, hugging my catcher, shaking hands with teammates…that feeling of pride in what you just accomplished.

I remember those days though. That feeling in my stomach after the game was over…winning…giving it my all and conquering whatever life threw at me. Baseball was life. Pitching every week was the dream.

I remember the feeling of walking out from the dugout under those bright lights when the game would start.

Feeling the crunch of my cleats on the cement…the transfer to the dirt…then to the grass…and those final steps when I would walk up the mound.

The deep breath…the windup…the warmup pitches…and then watching the hitter step into the box. I would look through him…then were he was setting up…then to my catcher.

The sign.

The nod.

The pitch.

My senior year of H.S. was probably one of the most memorable years of baseball I had in my entire career. Going up against the best players in a great league and holding my own.

But it wasn’t as much about the accomplishments as it was about my mind.

I remember that despite the injury to my elbow, the day that I was starting the game was my day. It didn’t matter which team we were playing. I had this confidence. I was dripping with it. Not arrogance, but supreme belief in myself.

I knew what I was going to go onto the mound that day. I was going to pick apart every single hitter on that team. I knew I could because I had prepared each and every week for this moment.


I’d grip the seams and put everything I had behind every pitch.

Baseball is long gone for me, but something was different about today. That feeling started to brew in my stomach again.

I has been about four years since I have had this feeling in me – and now it has nothing to do with pitching. It has to do with something much much greater. The launching of a dream. As I sit in bed looking at the final product of my first book on my desktop…I realize that in those 265 pages…there is something magical.

Something I can’t really explain to you fully.

We could talk about specific posts and what they meant to me for days…but the overarching sense that I get from seeing this product in its entirety is beyond my words.

It is beyond me.

We are here…bottom of the 9th…2 outs…game 1-0.

I can feel the seams in my heart.

I can look back and remember the days of throwing the ball around the yard with my beloved dog.

I can remember my past…where I have come from…what I have been through…the victories…the great defeats…and here I am, that feeling of anticipation to finally walk out again into the lights and throw another beautiful game.

-Evan Sanders, The Better Man Project

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  • Carl D'Agostino
    January 9, 2013 at 3:43 pm


  • wherethedaytakesme
    January 9, 2013 at 4:11 pm


  • Rene Yoshi
    January 9, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I love how you used the symbolic 9th. So excited for you!

  • missmin
    January 9, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    So proud of you, Evan! I get all excited just to have a short story or poem pubished…but your first book! Gives me goosebumps. Can’t wait to read it. Love and light.

  • Derek D
    January 9, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Evan, at this point, just grip it and paint the corners. Shake off ol’ number 2 and ride your gut. Glad to have stumbled onto your site. Congrats!

  • shandranorman
    January 9, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful enthusiasm! 🙂

  • angiemc6
    January 10, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Excellant post in content and style. I’ll share this with my baseball loving sons, all three pitch, because they’ll understand. As you understand. Life.

  • scaramouche
    January 10, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I don’t know much about baseball (sorry), but the roles of “mind” and “confidence” are familiar territory and I appreciate your sharing of how these lifted you to give your best. Enjoy the return to the light and the lift of the challenge!

  • glstudenttravel
    January 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Reblogged this on Green Light Student Travel and commented:
    We love to share The Better Man Project blog posts.

  • From an ink smeared page
    January 10, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Congratulations on completing your book – that’s a fantastic effort!
    And thanks for following my blog 🙂

  • The World Is My Cuttlefish
    January 11, 2013 at 4:15 am

    Great achievement. I know nothing of baseball but felt like as did as I read.

  • Lindsay
    January 11, 2013 at 5:00 am

    What a huge accomplishment and a cause for celebration. Congratulations!