From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

March 11

I had nine underclass players excited that they had a chance to play in a baseball conference game scheduled when our seniors would be out of town on a field trip. The most excited was Billy, a mentally challenged boy who had received special permission to be on the football and baseball teams.

Somehow we went to bat in the bottom of the ninth within one run of our opponents. To our surprise, with two outs, a batter walked, and the tying run was on first base. Billy was our next hitter. With a two-strike count, Billy hit a triple to tie the score. The crowd went wild. I called a time-out and whispered instructions to Billy. When the catcher threw the ball back to the pitcher, Billy broke from third and dove headfirst into home plate, beating the throw and scoring the winning run.

This memory exemplified what sports can do for people, and Billy’s great day proved that to everyone who saw the game. J. M. Barrie may have said it best when he wrote: “God gave us memories so that we might have roses in December.” Billy gave all of us a rose garden.

Herb Appenzeller

Give everyone a chance.
They can surprise you by how well they do.

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