Finally, in the second to last game of the season, with no one on base and the Angels’ third victory in a row already securely in hand, Todd got his first base hit off of live pitching! It was only a single, but from the reaction of Todd’s mom and dad, his coaches and his Angel teammates, a passing spectator would have sworn it was the hit that drove in the winning run in Game 7 of the World Series.
As he settled in at first base and waited for the next hitter to arrive at home plate, Todd breathed a sigh of relief and gazed across the field at Kelsey, who was clinging to the fence in front of the third base bleachers, wearing the special smile that she typically reserved for her own little victories. Todd returned her smile and gave her and his mom and dad the thumbs-up sign.
Deep inside, Todd knew that all of his hard work was beginning to pay off. He also knew that if it hadn’t been for Kelsey, he probably would have never known the joy and overwhelming sense of personal satisfaction that he felt at that moment. Despite the odds and the disappointments along the way, Todd had refused to give up. He had proven to himself that with patience, practice, perseverance, confidence, and the support of others, he could clear one of the final hurdles that stood in the way of achieving his and his young teammates’ dreams.
One victory later, those dreams came true. Because they had finished with the best record in the first and second half of the season, Todd and his Angels were declared league champions, and as such, had earned the right to represent the league in a prestigious national championship tournament held each year in upstate New York!