A little more than ten years ago I helped rebuild two ball diamonds at Lawrence Park they have since reverted back to the previous state of unusable but that is a different story. This story is about the feeling that comes over you when you are playing at night under the lights and when the game is over and you are charged with the upkeep of the diamond you are also the guy that shuts off the lights it is a very big clack sound when you do this followed by the lights slowly fading away and then the park is quite, dark and calm and it seems as if there are ghost players out there still playing the game for only those of us who truly love it and understand that the game never ends just the faces playing it but maybe just maybe the ones that truly love the game well their sprit is always out there making the next play.
Hank threw the ball to me at about two years old and not just a sling like a toddler will do but a straight over hand throw and Nancy and I were both like oh wow we have a ball player. He played at The Y for T Ball then little League then All Stars, then Travel Baseball then Middle School, then High School then Show Case Camps for prospects and then College. At one point around twelve years old he played in nearly a hundred games in one season. So yes there has been many an hour spent on ball diamonds by the Pressley’s.
Last year Hank appeared in several fall ball games for Wabash College and was set to travel with the varsity team as a freshman when he broke his leg in two places I knew his career was in jeopardy but he rehabbed worked out all off season and came back as strong as I had seen him and with one sixty yard sprint this last week a torn hamstring and back out for the fall I knew before he said the words I had seen his last game.
So just like the lights on the field a sound goes off in my head and nothing but the memory’s left to replay over and over like the spirits of the other players who love the game they just keep playing. Thank you Hank for giving me nearly eight teen years of watching you play at a very high level and always with a passion that you wore on your sleeve. Once a Baseball guy always a Baseball guy, I love you son and I am proud of you. Touch-em all son, Touch-em all.