8 Ways Star Trek and Shakespeare Are, In Fact, Exactly The Same-Reason #7

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So, I’ve been one of the biggest proponents of this belief for about a decade now, and as much as I scream it from the rooftops, no one seems to listen. And though I know I’m not the first to say this…

I’m making it official. Because once it’s posted in a blog, it becomes the truth. You know what I mean? It’s like on that State Farm commercial. “They can’t put anything on the internet that’s not true.” Right? Right?!

Anyway, as the title says, I wholeheartedly believe that two of my all-time favorite things in life are in actuality the exact same thing! (In the vein of Superman/Clark Kent, Batman/Bruce Wayne, or Green Arrow/ Oliver Queen)

In this series I am going to list out 8 different reasons why the Genius of Star Trek is really just the Genius of the Bard himself repackaged.

Reason 8 can be found here

Star Trek and Shakespeare #7 – The 5 Act Play

Ok, so everyone knows about this old ditty.

five-act-play

And, you’re probably thinking, “So, what? Every story follows the 5 stages of a plot.”

To this I say, “Yes, mostly, and this concept is taught in every English class and has been since the beginning of time.” (I’m speculating here. I wasn’t there.)

But what I’m talking about is so much more than Exposition to Denouement. What I’m talking about it is a structured design which mirrors one another in both feel and scope. The 5 Acts of both Star Trek and Shakespeare follow a distinct pattern.

 

goals
ACT 1-The Goal is Established

In each and every Shakespeare play, the end goal for the protagonist is always given in the first Act.

 

act1scene4-hamlet-ghost

In Hamlet, his father’s ghost tells him he needs to avenge his death.

In Macbeth, Macbeth and his wife learn that they will become King and Queen.

In King Lear, Cordelia is banished and Regan, Goneril, and Edmund all divulge their intentions for greatness.

In Julius Caesar, Cassius begins his quest to get Brutus to join the conspiracy.

Some Naysayers may claim that this is simply the exposition, but I believe it is more than that. It is not just setting up characters and storylines, but also weaving a realistic story that draws in the audience.

How does Star Trek do this? In two parts actually. First the teaser, then the opening Act. To illustrate my points, let me use two popular episodes.

First, Space Seed from TOS.
 
Here in the teaser the Enterprise discovers a 200 year old Earth vessel with systems oddly still running. After the theme song and the credits, an away team beams over to the ship to discover that the people in cryogenic stasis are still alive, revives one and brings him back to the ship. Obviously, the goal now is for the crew to figure out who these people are.

Second,  Darmok from TNG.
 
Here in the teaser the Enterprise is directed to an uninhabited system by a signal that is an attempt at communication. But when the crew makes contact, Captain Picard is beamed to a planet with the captain from the alien ship and neither can understand each other. After the theme song and credits, Picard and the alien captain begin to survive on the surface and make a break through in communication. The goal: figure out the reason for the signal and find a way to communicate.

 

 

villains

ACT 2-The Villains Gather Enemies

By the second act, the good guys and the bad guys have already been established, sort of, and now it is time for the bad guys to start putting motion to their plans.
 
In Hamlet, Claudius brings in Rosencranz and Guildenstern to spy on Hamlet.
 
In Macbeth, Macbeth kills Duncan.
 
In King Lear, Regan, Goneril, and Edmund all trick their parents into giving them more power.
 
In Julius Caesar, The conspirators commit to a plan to kill Caesar.

 

Here, once again, detractors to my theory may claim that this is simply the rising action, but nay I say. Focus on the action of the villains; that is which binds these acts.

 

In Star Trek?

Space Seed

Khan begins to turn some of the Kirk’s crew to his side including the Historian McGivers.

Darmok 

Picard hears the roar of an unknown beast and wonders if the other captain knows they are not alone.

 

 

chess
ACT 3-The Villains Make Their Move

In the third act, the bad guys are ready to make good on their plans.
 
In Hamlet, Claudius stops the play within a play telling Hamlet that he did, in fact, kill his brother.
 
In Macbeth, after killing Duncan, Macbeth turns to securing his kingship by killing his good friend Banquo.
 
In King Lear, Regan, Goneril, and Edmund pluck out Gloucester’s eyes while King Lear goes insane.
 
In Julius Caesar, The conspirators kill Caesar.
 
Sure, call this the climax. Say that I’m just saying the same thing in a different way. But you know I’m right. Stop fighting it.
 
Star Trek’s Climax Third Act?

Space Seed

Khan takes over Engineering.

Darmok

The energy beast attacks and nearly kills the alien captain.

 

 
562557-bigthumbnail
ACT 4-The Heroes Are Going To Win

When the fourth act arrives the bad guys have done their thing, but we get to see the light of hope in the darkness.
 
In Hamlet, Hamlet escapes Claudius’ attempt to have him killed in England and returns to take his revenge.
 
In Macbeth, the witches tell Macbeth he will be killed by Macduff, though he doesn’t get it.
 
In King Lear, Cordelia arrives as a Jesus figures and brings back Lear’s sanity meanwhile Edgar prepares to meet Edmund.
 
In Julius Caesar, Caesar’s ghost appears telling Brutus his end will be in Phillipi.

 
At this point, those of you who have been doubting me should start to see that these 5 acts are nothing like that infernal plot map and this act is not the falling action. But if you don’t, all I can say is, “Alas, there will always be haters.”
 
In Star Trek?

Space Seed

Khan holds Kirk hostage by himself.

Darmok

The two captains begin to communicate.

 

 
quote-T_-S_-Eliot-what-we-call-the-beginning-is-often-92063
ACT 5-The End is the Beginning is the End and Lessons Learned

The fifth act. We have reached it. The moment of enlightenment for us and the characters. Here, we find an end to our story, and we are left with a thought to ponder.
 
In Hamlet, Claudius, Gertrude, Laertes, all die along with Hamlet, thus he secures his revenge, but he also leave us with the line, “The rest is silence” as a possible answer to his musings about death.
 
In Macbeth, Macduff kills Macbeth setting Malcolm back on the throne, and we learn the idea that “life is a story told by an idiot full of sound and fury,” or something to that effect.
 
In King Lear, Cordelia, Lear, Gloucester, Regan, Goneril, and Edmund all die and Edgar teaches us that we should say what we need to say. (John Mayer, anyone?)
 
In Julius Caesar, Cassius and Brutus commit suicide, and Antony tells us Brutus was noble for killing Caesar in that he was trying to protect the freedom of the people from tyranny. Aww.

 
Now that we have reached the end, if you still think this is just the denouement and the plot map, I don’t know what else to tell you….
 
Star Trek?

Space Seed

Kirk holds a trial for Khan and maroons him on a deserted planet. And Spock’s discussion about planting seeds teaches us that our actions today will have vast consequences in the future.

Darmok

Picard uses this newfound communication to establish diplomatic relations with a new alien species. And though his discussion with Riker with learn that knowledge of the past with help us with the future.
 
Thus we conclude another entry into our study of how Shakespeare and Star Trek are alter egos. (Bizarro world?)

 

 

And just because you made it to the end. Something special for you…

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8 Ways Star Trek and Shakespeare Are, In Fact, Exactly The Same- Reason # 8

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GEEK ALERT!

 
So, I’ve been one of the biggest proponents of this belief for about a decade now,and as much as I scream it from the rooftops, no one seems to listen. And though I know I’m not the first to say this…
 

 

 
I’m making it official.
 

Because once it’s posted in a blog, it becomes the truth. You know what I mean? It’s like on that State Farm commercial. “They can’t put anything on the internet that’s not true.” Right? Right?!

Anyway, as the title says, I wholeheartedly believe that two of my all-time favorite things in life are in actuality the exact same thing! (In the vein of Superman/Clark Kent, Batman/Bruce Wayne, or Green Arrow/ Oliver Queen)

In this series I am going to list out 8 different reasons why the Genius of Star Trek is really just the Genius of the Bard himself repackaged.

So, without much ado about nothing, I give you reason number 8:

Star Trek and Shakespeare #8 – Shakespearean Actors in Star Trek

When it comes to actors in Star Trek, most either have their origins in a Shakespearean training or have been a part of a large scale Shakespearean production.
 
Don’t believe me?
 
Well, let’s just start with the two most famous Shakespearean Star Trek actors:

First, the Original Gangster himself Captain James Tiberius Kirk,

also known as the Priceline Negotiator,

Mr. Billy Shatner,

alongside him is the follicly challenged but no less manly X-men saving, moral compass wearing Capt. B.A. Picard

Sir Patrick Stewart
 
Both were official members of the Royal Shakespeare Company and, not surprisingly, became the first two captains of the franchise.
 
Coincidence? I say Nay.

But the list does not stop there. Others you may have seen or heard of include that Klingon dude hard enough to off his own boy Chancellor Gorkon (who just so happens to be played by another Shakesperean actor David Warner) and do it in the name of his people (Julius Caesar anyone?) named General “patch-over-my-eye-even-though-we-live-in-the-23rd-century-and-have-the-technology-to-fix-that-junk” Chang played by RSC member Christopher Plummer.

Just in case my description makes no sense.

Now, if your head is spinning so far, let’s take a head count, that’s Will Shatner,1, Sir Patrick Stewart,2, Christopher Plummer,3, and David Warner,4.

4 Shakespereans and that’s just one movie…. and a captain!
 
Shall we continue?
 
Adding to the list of the distinguished is that Native American Number One hailing from my hometown, Chakotay. Not only is he a seasoned Shakespearean, he even takes the time to teach workshops of the Bard.

IMG_0302

Did you know that that elusive Borg Queen played by Alice Krige was also a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company? Yeah, makes so much more sense now, huh?

IMG_0305

The Rest

Now, for the rest of this list. I will focus only on the major characters of the shows and movies. I’m sure there are some actors who have appeared in an episode here or there that have also had a role in a Shakespeare production, and I will have undoubtedly missed them. If so, please add them in the comments below.

TOS

Now, would it amaze you to know that the lovely Nyota “first-kiss-between-a-white-man-and-black-woman-on-tv” Uhura was also a Shakesperean? Yep, played in a 1983 version of Antony and Cleopatra.

 

Almost as odd, Walter Koenig, that wily Russian you just never could trust, played alongside her.

TNG

The beloved Mr. Worf, or as a roommate of mine once affectionately called him, “Ridges,” also played in a Shakespeare production, sort of. It was called Zombeo and Julecula, obviously, a horror version of Romeo and Juliet. Now, though some might scoff at this inclusion as it is in all honesty a stretch, I find it in every way fascinating, so I’m including it. (Plus, it gives me another person to add to my list, so, there!)

Plus Whoopi/Guinan “what-the-crap-is-with-your-hat?” voiced a character in The Lion King which is a very good adaptation of Hamlet. So, bam. Again.

VOY

Let’s also not forget that the unflappable, except for that bun in that year of hell, Capt. Janeway was in many a Shakespeare production onstage. From Othello to Titus Andronicus to Measure for Measure, she is a seasoned pro.

We can’t leave out the great Ethan “how-come-we-never-saw-a-chef-on-a-starship-before-but-his-character-forced-the-prequel-to-add-a-chef-reference-in-just-about-every-episode” Phillips as well.

And of course, continuing the Bardian weight of Voyager, Tuvok “who happened to also exist as a non-Vulcan on the Enterprise-B when the Nexus attacked” was also a Shakesperean.

timrussgen

Reboot

And love it or hate it, let’s not forget our friends from the reboot and the amazing Ben Cross who plays Spock’s daddy. Yep, involved in a number of Shakespearean Stage productions, too!

trek_08

Not to mention everyone’s favorite deep-voiced bad guy, Benedict Cumberbatch, is even set to play the melancholy Dane in an upcoming production of Hamlet.

benedict_as_khan_by_kirara_goes_rawr-d6ga2pk

Let’s face it. He wasn’t as frightening as the original.

Well, there you have it. That’s at least 15 solid connections to Shakespeare throughout the many facets of the Star Trek Universe. Not a bad start to what I believe will be the greatest blog series ever invented by mankind.

Words of Genius From the Master

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The Hero’s Journey- Return with the Elixir

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the-hero_s-journey

Intellectual Credit Joseph Campbell

Last time we delved into The Flight, today it’s all about our last stage Return with the Elixir.

Return with the Elixir

The flight has ended, the journey is done. It’s time to relax, the war is won.

Or is it?

Just like the title says, the hero returns with his prize from the journey. The prize can be a literal, tangible object, or skills acquired. But as the journey comes to a close, there are two basic ways the Hero’s Journey ends.

 

Medals and Party

In this final stage, the protagonist has reached the end of the journey. He/she has become a hero. He/she has saved the world from certain doom. The hero should be celebrated. Laurels need to be given. Wine needs to be drunk. In other words: party!

And very often the heroes will celebrate the victory. They will enjoy their accomplishments and mourn their losses.

Take for instance Star Wars. (A New Hope or Return of the Jedi). In both examples the Death Star has been destroyed, certain doom has been avoided, awards are given and a party is thrown.

pjGjf 4518

And as happens so often in Disney movies: they live happily ever after.

But at the end of the Hero’s Journey, this isn’t always the case.

 

Another Journey Begins

Sometimes the hero cannot leave the World of Adventure and gets swept away onto another fantastic journey. Sometimes the journey never ends. Sometimes the ending is just the beginning.

Remember Batman or Iron Man or Spiderman or Superman or really any other superhero out there? Remember how there is always another villain to conquer and plot to foil? Yeah, it’s basically like that.

Superheroes

The hero will live his/her life vanquishing foes and saving the world constantly reliving the Hero’s Journey.

 

And there we have it. The Hero’s Journey in tiny, bite site, easy to swallow chunks. I do so hope this series has been helpful and insightful. I hope it has brought a smile to your face, aided with a term paper, helped informed your teaching, or simply enlightened your day.

Until next time,
Peace and Long Reads

Justin

The Hero’s Journey- Flight

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the-hero_s-journey

Intellectual Credit Joseph Campbell

Last time we delved into The Supreme Ordeal, today it’s all about the Flight.

Flight

Okay, so the hero has defeated the enemy (or at least escaped unscathed, well maybe scathed, but he/she is definitely still alive.) Great, but what’s next?

Now, it’s time to run. Run like heck. Run like he/she has never run before and never look back. Chances are the hero is being pursued most likely by someone or something really big, really mean, and with one agenda, to kill him/her.

The goal is one fold: Get back to Common Day.

It’s like there is this idea that common day is safe. (Oh yeah, because it is.) And if the hero can just cross that Threshold, everything will be all right.

 

But it can NEVER be as simple as that can it? Of course not! We’re talking about heroes here!

 

So to understand the stage of Flight, it is necessary to understand that all important Threshold Crossing, that moment that is supposed to bring joy and peace and happiness and ever after.

What You Need to Know:

Threshold Struggle

There will be another threshold struggle that the hero must undergo. After all, he/she didn’t get into this world without a fight, so what makes them think they can get out so easily. Oh, they’re heroes now? Big, strong saviors of the world? Well, that just means that their struggle will be that much harder, multiplied exponentially.

Four ways this will be played out in what we in the biz call The Road Back: (And by the biz, I really just mean me at me keyboard…)

1. The Return

scouring

One of the greatest examples of a Return appears in the Lord of the Rings (novel version). The films had to cut this scene due to the 50 endings already in the movie. (Even though when the hobbits return to the Shire the events that transpire are absolutely critical to one of the themes in the story and by not including it they nearly destroyed the entire brilliance of the epic reducing it to a minor farce, nearly.)

But that is a rant for another day.

Instead, what I’m referring to is the all important “Scouring of the Shire”. For those who haven’t read it, when the four hobbits return to their eutopic Shire after saving Middle-Earth, they find that it is over run by Saruman and evil men. They then lead a force to expel Saruman and the men from the Shire thus saving their paradise. Thus in the midst of their Return, they must once and for all fight an enemy to ensure their safety.

 

2. Resurrection

index

What can be better than an example from Lord of the Rings? One from Disney of course! One of the best, and my personal favorite, of the Disney Princess movies is Beauty and the Beast. In here we have a glorious example of a resurrection.

Okay, take yourself back to that moment. Gaston has just stabbed the beast, and now Beast throws his sorry behind off the castle roof. Belle sees Beast is hurt. Beast is dying. Belle is crying. Beast is dead.

 

“What the crap?! I thought Disney movies were love stories! Man, I hate this movie!” Says my 6 year old self, and yours too.

But wait. What’s this? Belle says she loves him before the rose pedal hits the floor and BOOM! Evil magic undone, Beast is now a handsome BEAST, and they live? H.E.A. That’s right. He came back from the dead. No way! (But then again, this happens often in Disney doesn’t it? It’s like they have a resurrection complex.)

 

3. Rescue

images

Also known as Deus Ex Machina in Latin for Cop Out (I mean God from the Machine), a Rescue is the moment when all is lost then Whoa! (like Joey form Blossom) everything gets fixed. One of the best examples is Superman the Movie (1978). Okay, full disclosure, I love me some Supes. And Christopher Reeves Supes is iconic. BUT, you have to scratch your head at the ending. So, there’s this horrific earthquake, Lois dies and all is lost. But wait. If Superman flies fast enough in outer space, he can reverse the Earth’s rotation? (Nevermind the gravitational forces and tide issues this can cause.) But besides all that, reversing the Earth’s rotation can reverse time!? Oh man! Talk about a cop out awesome ending or in other words, a Rescue! God comes down (or flies up?) at the last moment and saves everyone.

And if you don’t like Supes, then what about the Eagles in Lord of the Rings? See, it’s always a good example.

index2

 

4. Refusal of Return

index

Sometimes the new World of Adventure is so exciting and changes the hero so much that he/she cannot return. Such is the case with Coach Bombay in The Mighty Ducks.

For those who can’t remember my childhood coaching idol, Gordon Bombay, his journey started as a star lawyer in a high priced law firm, Ducksworth and Assoc. When he gets arrested for drunk driving, he is sentenced to coach an ailing pee wee hockey team, District 5. (A sport which we know from the opening credits that he was really good at playing as a kid.) Antics ensue, a love interest is formed, and Gordon fights against being in his new world.

Then towards the end before the big game against his old coach and rival, Bombay is given the opportunity to leave the coaching world and return to the law firm. But Gordon doesn’t take it. Instead, he gives his old boss and namesake of the Mighty Ducks a very inspiring lecture about what being a part of a team means.

“You may have paid for that jersey, sir, but you didn’t earn it,” says he to Ducksworth. (Of course after having repeatedly quacked at him.)

 

And for those of you who question whether Gordon Bombay can be included in the list of heroes, consider this:

(Special thanks to Jose Mendoza at instagram @greenzombify)

 

Next time we will discuss the final stage of the Hero’s Journey in The Return With The Elixir.

Until then,
Peace and Long Reads

Justin

Five Warning Signs Your Story Needs Revision

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Took this from Kristen Lamb’s blog. It’s a great reminder of what to focus on when editing especially for me as I currently edit the second book in my series The Stones of Revenge: The Arising.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 11.38.45 AM Original image via Jenny Downing Flikr Creative Commons

We can have the best story ideas in the world, but to be blunt? There’s a lot to be said for delivery. While these problems might seem picky, there are some fundamental errors that can weaken the writing. If our writing loses power, this can become distressing or distracting to readers.

Many readers (not being editors or professional writers) might not be able to articulate specifically why they lost interest in a story, but often the answer is simple. It can be an accumulation of the small things. The little foxes spoil the vine.

Most of us make one or more of these errors, especially when we’re new. Hey, that’s called “being NEW.” No one is born with the natural ability to write brilliant, perfect novels coded into their DNA. It takes time and practice, so give yourself permission to make…

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The Ball Game

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Image

He tosses the ball into the air to get a feel for the weight. The pain in his shoulder is getting worse, and he knows he only has a few more pitches left in him. He gazes over to the bullpen where the reliever is warming up; a smile sweeps across his face. The young man stands on the rubber with such poise and strength, confident in his abilities. The kid tosses a pitch and the loud clap can be heard over the roar of the crowd. The old man on the mound has spent his career teaching him everything he knows about the game, and soon it would be his turn to lead the team. He is proud of the younger player’s accomplishments.

The old man took a deep sigh. “But I still have a few more pitches to go, son,” he says to himself.

The infielders are still taking throws from each other. These players have been with him for as long as he can remember. Like a family he loves every one of them. Each has played a special part in their success over the years, at times saving him from a critical situation. Together they had survived. Together they would live on. But the pain in the old man’s shoulder made him wonder for how long.

He tosses the ball into his glove now and prepares for the batter standing in the on-deck circle. He raises the glove to his face as he has countless times before. Immediately the sweet aroma of leather and oil hits his nostrils. It reminds him of a summer from long ago.

 

His son had been only five then, just learning how to play the game. The old man had gone from store to store to find the perfect glove, genuine American leather stitched together with durable leather straps. The one built to last a lifetime. He wanted his son to have the finest, to have what he couldn’t. At home, he had spent hours upon hours rubbing oil into the leather letting it soak up the liquid just the way his father had taught him when he was a kid. Each night the old man had wrapped the glove with rubber bands around a ball inside to break it in. He wanted to present it to his son before his first practice.

“Here, son, this is for you.”

“What is it?”

“Just a little something.”

The son excitedly ripped open the plain brown box and extracted the dark, mahogany mitt ready for use. A smile as wide as the Grand Canyon swept over the boy’s face as he fit the glove over his small hand.

“You got me one!” he shouted. “Thank you!”

“Let’s go. We’re going to be late.”

 

Now standing on the mound, the old man feels a pang of regret as he remembers the sudden change of expression on his son’s face. I wish I had said what I wanted to say, he thinks. I wish I had said, ‘I got it for you because I love you.’ But that wasn’t how he was raised. Expressing feelings was never a natural thing for him. He did it in other ways like taking his time working on the glove. But still.

The umpire signals to him that he is ready to begin this last inning. All balls on the field find their way back to the dugout; all except for the one in his hand. He grips it tighter remembering the memory. He twists it in his glove. He can feel each rough stitch and coarse cross seam. Above the brim of the glove the batter steps into the box and digs his front foot into the dirt. His bat twirls like a windmill as he readies himself. This is the third time they have faced off. (The first time the batter had swatted his first pitch down the left baseline for a double scoring two runs. The second time he had belted his second pitch over the center field wall.) The old man catches arrogance in the batter’s eyes. Beneath him the catcher squats down awaiting the first pitch. His fingers flicker below his mitt in a ritualistic dance. The old man nods with approval at one of the combinations, but his right shoulder pulses with fire.

“Just a few more pitches,” he reminds himself.

He stands erect both feet square on the white strip of rubber elevating him above all others. He rotates the ball in his glove and places his two forefingers on the seams. He focuses in on the mitt leveled between the batter and the plate. The batter takes another practice swing anticipating where the ball will land. The old man musters all of his strength ignoring the throbbing in his arm. He begins his wind-up.

“TIME!” the umpire behind him calls. The old man aborts his throw and spins around to see the man with his arms spread out wide.

A pudgy man wearing a pullover wind breaker and baseball pants exits from the third base dugout and walks toward him. He signals two fingers to the bullpen for the reliever to join him. Immediately the young player trots onto the field and meets the two men at the mound.

“The kid’s going to take your place,” the manager says.

“I’ve got a few pitches left,” the old man pleads.

“You’ve carried the ball this far, it’s time to let the kid pick it up.”

He hesitates, but with a nod and a grin the old man eventually places the ball into the new pitcher’s hands. The young man grips the ball tight feeling the intermingling of rough and smooth, soft and coarse surfaces. They remind him of one from his past.

 

It had been given to him when he was eight years old. A lone ball resting in a plastic case molded just for its size sitting atop a golden colored plastic stand. It was a cheap trophy but one that came from the heart. On the ball had been written a date, one that had seeming little importance but to him meant everything. Just below it were written the words: “First Home run, First Grand slam.” It had sat on his shelf for years gathering dust amidst the trophies and accolades he had amassed throughout the years.

 

He watches his elder stroll confidently off the field amidst the cheers and applause. His had been a good game. He had played it right. But now that turn was ending. The old man had been the heart and soul of this team. He had willed them forward when no one else had believed, and he had steered the ship for years convinced of their destination. Now that job was his.

The old man stops short of the dugout and turns. He catches the young man’s eyes and stares. His eyes seem to say, “This is your game now. I believe in you,” but no words are ever spoken. The young man understands. He felt it when the ball hit his palm. Then the elder player turns, descends into the home team’s dugout, and fades into the darkness of the clubhouse.

 

Next to that baseball had sat his first glove that his father had given to him.

 

This moment reminded him of it. It had been one of the greatest treasures of the young man’s life. When he received it, his father had said no words of love, nor offered any of encouragement. But he hadn’t needed to. The hours spent with the oil had spoken what his father couldn’t.

“Thanks, dad,” the young man says then turns his attention onto the batter. He knows how dangerous this guy has been, but he is determined not to let the game get away this time. He steels his eyes on the catcher, receives his signal, and winds up into his motion. His eyes never waver from his target as he releases the ball toward the catcher’s mitt.

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