Aidan Ward

 What Are Friends For?

  by Aidan Ward

  Aidan Ward is a 12 year old junior high school student in Northern California.
  He enjoys playing and watching baseball, and telling this tale of two treasures.

My life has many treasures. Each and every treasure symbolizes past events that have meant enough to me that I never want the memory to slip away. Therefore I have kept a lot of objects to help me always remember the events. There are many treasures I could write about -- maybe some of my baby toys or a spirit-lifting book. But I choose the following because I love to tell its story.

A brisk fall morning it was, and I was up at the crack of dawn preparing for the day that was before me. My dad, my best friend Nathan, and I were to head to Oakland to watch the Oakland Athletics take on the Seattle Mariners. This was to be no ordinary day at the ballpark because the tickets in my father's hands were of the value of gold to an 8-year-old boy. Our seats were directly behind home plate. I have no clue where my dad got these tickets, but it was going to be a day to remember. Down in the lower box there is no waiting, not for anything. Waiters come down every ten minutes and ask if you would like anything to eat or drink. We were royalty, and the Red Ropes and pink popcorn unending. The A's ended up losing the game which wouldn't matter to me later.

The A's right fielder back then was my hero; he batted clean-up and could field like a pro (which he was). This superhero was Matt Stairs. But it was not a great day for Matt. He had just made the last out of the game with runners in scoring position. As he walked down the pathway fuming to the lockerroom, I yelled, "Great game, Matt. You'll get 'em next time!" Without even glancing at me he tossed over his batting gloves. Before I could yell an insignificant "thank you," he vanished into the black of the clubhouse.

On the car ride home I was awed by them -- the pine tar still wet on the fingers, and the dignified smell of sweat and hard work fresh on the material. I looked over at my buddy who was also in awe of the gloves. I felt the day was made more special when shared with my friend. So I gave him the left hand.

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JCBA No. 20- Aidan Ward
Published: December 15, 2001
Copyright © 2001 by the Cosmic Baseball Association