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Some people just don’t get it

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Some people just don’t get it

Sierra High outfielder Caleb Young refused to give up chasing a hit during Thursday's cross-town rivalry game against Manteca High in varsity Valley Oak League baseball action. Young ended up missi...

HIME ROMERO/ The Bulletin/

POSTED April 12, 2010 1:03 a.m.
When I saw this photo accompanying my column for the first time it provoked emotions inside of me I haven’t tapped into in years. What an amazing sight to see. Seeing one of those once-in-a-while type of players that really gets it. Caleb Young, though. really gets it.

Early on in this baseball season, I cannot lie, I had had my doubts.

I saw leadoff hitters hacking at 2-0 pitches, base stealers getting picked off – twice, not tagging up, throwing past cutoff men like they’re invisible, and the one that makes the fat on the back of my neck tinge, refusing to put down sacrifice bunts.

These wretched scenes left me with genuine concern and then this priceless photo of Sierra High outfielder Caleb Young going face first into a cyclone fence surrounding the outfield grass at Manteca High surfaced like the holy grail.

There is no greater proof of a kid that gets it than the digital image captured by Bulletin photographer Hime Romero.

The picture is priceless.

Not only to Young and everyone and anyone he knows, but to everybody that has suited up between the lines and tried to win a ballgame for your teammates.

Real winners want to win for everyone else. Sure you enjoy ‘em and they mean a lot, but during the chase it’s about the group, the collective mission and the unity. Caleb Young would probably go through a wall for his teammates.

Wait, he actually did.

Anyone who had the privilege of seeing the play develop live surely got introduced to a treat. Seeing such a selfless act in person makes one take a self-evaluating moment without question.

Who can depend on me?

Sierra head coach Jack Thomson has no question as to whether he can depend on Young. If you’ll smack into a fence at full-speed, dropping down a sac-bunt should be a walk in the park.

How proud was his head coach when he saw his outfielder give his teammates one of baseball’s ultimate sacrifices? His immediate family had to be thrilled. Sure if he’d have squared-up with the fence-post the results could have been ugly.  But when he was alright I just thought, “I can’t wait  to shake his hand and call him gamer.”

Young provided everyone in our area a brief glimpse about what sports, baseball, and life is all about. Being dependable, being loyal, and trying to do your best for the good of a common goal. In my eyes, his nickname should be Johnny Teammate.

There were some people who saw the picture and found humor in the way he was plastered against the fence like a G.I. Joe figurine from the late-‘80s. What a joke. Anyone that sees this picture has to see someone working with all heart. All effort - just trying to help win a ball game. That’s what it’s about. Sacrificing skin off your face to try and make a play. Me personally, oh, I love it.

But some people, I have to accept, simply just don’t get it.

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