Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Clearly Claire: The Promise of a Perfect Game

I have never been that into baseball. I don't watch it on television and except for the occasional Port's game, I don't really go to see baseball, but my dad has always been a fan. I know enough about baseball that when a man pitches a perfect game, you stand up and take notice.

Stockton, in my lifetime, has been the forclosure capital of the US, the most violent city, and the second most depressing city in the US. But these things didn't seem to stop Dallas Braden. He was the pitcher who pitcheed that perfect game. He was the one who let ball after ball fly over the plate and didn't give up a single run. He dreamed to be better than what he was, where he came from, and what he'd done, and accomplished his dream. (he also happened to go to my high school, which is pretty awesome.)

I have always loved my town. There is not a street in this city that doesn't have some kind of fond memory for me, but that doesn't mean that I want to stay here all my life. I have never been the type of person who was happy where I was. I aways dreamed of bigger and brighter things than what I saw surrounding me, but I never saw a way out. But seeing Braden not only pitch a perfect game, but pitch for a major league baseball team helped me believe that I can do it. I can conquer the world I happen to be in now and come out better on the other side. I don't have to be depressed and violent just because I live in a city that says I'm supposed to be. I can go on to do something great, like Braden.

But more than just that, Braden still loves the city he grew up in. The violent depressing, foreclosure and during my entire dream to leave this city behind I never thought of doing anything to help the city improve after I was gone. I do love this town, but I always said that I was going to get out and never come back except for occasional visits to my parents,but Braden has changed my mind. I don't have to be afraid of being here. That doesn't make me a failure, which until a few months ago I thought. I thought that if I stayed here, I was giving up on my dreams, but Braden showed me that my dream can include a better Stockton.

So when Braden tossed that last ball over the plate and his team yelled and screamed and hugged their superstar, Braden didn't know it, but he had changed my whole life.     

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