We were unlucky. All of us poor, godforsaken souls were unable to witness the sheer greatness. The momentous occasion we speak of is the one that we've dreamed of for oh, so long. It's Bartolo Colon's batting practice home run as first reported by Newsday's Marc Carig yesterday. A moment in time and space such as this deserves more than a passing tweet, a mere blip on the radar of social media and as a result, life. For this magical instant of time is a slice of all that is good in the world, all that is just and right.
We could not let it merely pass by without imagining what it could've and must have looked like.
Monday, March 14 started as any other morning in Mets camp. The sun drenched the dew-soaked grass of Tradition Field, the blue sky with wispy clouds resembling stretched out marshmallows reached from north to south, east to west as far as the eye could see.
It was 8:00 AM when ballplayers began to slowly trot out of the clubhouse, the sound of cleats clip-clopping against the cement. One man's cleats clicked a little louder against that cement, especially this morning when he was about to accomplish the feat that his entire career has led up to at this point.
When batting practice began, he watched as his teammates took swings at the white spherical hunk of leather being hurled towards them. "Today is the day," Bartolo Colon thought.
He trudged into the box, adjusted his typically way-too-tight helmet, tapped his bat on home plate, and displayed that toothy grin we're all so familiar with. The sight of this large, aging man leaning into the box was never not funny and that held true this day. Before he knew it, the pitcher wound up his body and released the sphere, allowing it to tumble towards Bartolo at the plate. With the faintest idea of what he could and could not hit with authority, Bartolo decided to let this one go by unharmed.
"The next pitch," Bartolo surmised, "is the one I'll swing at." Before he knew it, the ball was leaving the pitcher's hand again and everything began to go into slow motion. The baseball traveled closer. And closer. And closer. As it appeared larger and larger, Bart knew what he had to do. He closed his eyes, gripped the bat tight, and whirled it around with all of his might...
Birds sang sweet melodies! Rabbits and squirrels danced together with pure, unadulterated joy! Water rushed rapidly over waterfalls and the sun smiled, while putting on sunglasses and a big, old Panama hat. Newsday's Marc Carig yelled "CRIPES!", pulled out his phone, and gleefully tweeted what he saw to the masses. The boss man all the way up in the sky even nodded his head and smiled with satisfaction.
The ball hit and snapped a tree branch 350 feet away from home plate. It finally happened. Bartolo Colon hit a home run and for a few quiet, unrecorded minutes, all was right with the world.