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Go Ahead Bobby
by Paul Finnigan

“C’mon Bobby!”

Manager Bert Blaney’s familiar voice caught Bobby Thomson halfway through a practice swing. It was unique all right. Gruff, raspy and somehow piercing all at the same time. Bobby glanced at the score board, then towards 3rd base. The board displayed Visitors 2, Home 0. Hal Kinsey, the Crusader’s shortstop stood at 3rd, eager to steal home. Two out, the count 3 in 1, and bottom of the 9th of the 7th and deciding game between the hometown Stockton Crusaders and their arch-rivals the Portsdale Platoon. Bobby was cocky, batting 411 in his last 15 games, with 12 homers.

“Give me a fastball,” muttered Bobby, licking his lips.

Suddenly the pitcher hurled a nasty slider that caught Bobby flatfooted.

St-e-e-e-rike! It was full count.

“Give me that fastball.” Bobby whispered to himself.

Suddenly the pitcher unleashed a wicked fastball. Bobby swung in pile driving motion. A loud crack sounded throughout the park. Bobby sprinted to and rounded 1st. Cheers erupted as Kinsey scampered home to score.

“Go Ahead Bobby!” yelled Blaney in that unmistakeable voice as Bobby took 2nd. “ Go ahead Bobby!” repeated Blaney as Bobby headed for 3rd.

But suddenly a resonating bellow of flawless impersonation carried from the bleacher, “Go Ahead Bobby!”

Bobby Thomsom went numb after rounding 3rd. Caught in a run down, Bobby went out trying in desperation to bowl over the burly Portsdale catcher.

And so went the season and championship game for the Stockton Crusaders and Go Ahead Bobby.