Sunday Storytelling is where I post a piece of fiction Sunday. It might be a complete short story, a snippet of a work in progress, a character sketch, a response to one of the thousands of creative writing prompts I’ve collected through the years. Most of them won’t be polished or “final,” so feedback and criticism is welcome, but please be constructive in your comments. Read other Sunday Storytelling pieces here.
We all knew Colt Gregerson was going to make it out of here.
And by “we,” I do mean all 16,804 of us in Lancaster County (we call it “Lahcasser”). I mean, when you have an 85-mile-per-hour fastball when you’re 15, no one expects you to find work on your future father-in-law’s farm or with your daddy’s construction company.
We were right.
Colt signed with the Chicago Cubs for more than just about the entire county made in a year the day before he graduated from Lancaster High. He was put on what they called the “fast track” in the minors, where they worked on developing a curveball and taught him to control his temper on the field – sort of.
Three years later, Time Warner and DirectTV saw a spike in cable and satellite subscriptions in the county as we all signed up for the sports packages so we could watch him pitch in the big leagues.
When the Cubs played the Braves – the closest major league team to Lancaster – and Colt was scheduled to pitch, Mayor Johnson declared a county-wide holiday and closed schools so people who could buy tickets could go to Atlanta to watch him pitch. Colt called his momma a few weeks before that to say that the team would let him reserve up to 20 “friends and family” tickets at the game, but he wasn’t sure he’d need that much. Momma Gregerson shocked him when she told him all the school busses were being called in – since they wouldn’t be driving school kids that day – to drive people to Atlanta.
The Cubs didn’t make the playoffs that year, but they came pretty damn close, mostly thanks to Colt and his eighteen wins. ESPN ran a special on him and sent someone to interview his momma and daddy, Coach Feltner, some of his teachers and a couple high school teammates. Everyone they spoke to just beamed with pride. Everyone said some variation of “I always knew he’d make it.”
We expected he’d make it out of Lancaster.
What we didn’t expect was that he’d come back.
Comments, feedback, and constructive criticism welcome…