Jared Incinelli stood alone in the bullpen, taking his last look at the Quakes who would go on to beat
He never threw a pitch today. He walked off the field and into the dugout for the last time, his final day this year. He would go home to tend to family affairs, retiring from baseball, for a while anyway.
I stuck my hand out, said good luck, touching fists. Thanks, he said, I appreciate it.
Not that he wasn’t good enough. He wasn't released. But the grind and the time away from family can pull a ballplayer away too soon, before there’s time to reap the rewards of rich salaries, bonus’ and endorsements.
Incinelli watched his team, storing up memories, feeling the breeze in his face for the final time. It’s not easy letting go of a dream.
He was standing by himself, yesterday. Today, he’s with people who need him too. Another team, the one he’ll always be a part of. They need him now. He’ll throw and he’ll catch and keep the glove soft and oiled, keep the ball near the television set to finger and flip and roll around in his hand as he watches, remembers, keeps the dream alive. To teach his new child what it was like.
In the sun, under the lights, with a shot at the show.
It’s okay, Jared, it’s good to have dreams. They never die.