Words – 495
Perfect Harmony, Part Three: Leo’s Beginning
By Josh McMullen
Leo, on the other hand, came into the world the same way he would for most of his sixteen years of life: as the center of attention. He punctuated his first minute of life with a piercing cry that the nurses claimed could be heard throughout the whole hospital. Even so, on that cold, sunny day in April, no one could deny that he was one of the happiest babies in the entire delivery room.
Despite all of that, his mother spent the first week of motherhood sullen. She loved her little boy very much, but the constant strain of taking care of a five-day-old child took a toll on her. She even found her way back to the hospital a couple of times for stress-related illnesses.
To combat this, his father, on paternity leave from his job as a sportswriter, took the week-old Leo to his first taste of baseball, with seats just over the dugout at NBT Bank Stadium for a Syracuse SkyChiefs game. Armed with every single sun combatant, including an umbrella and a gargantuan bottle of sunscreen, they were ready to go.
The game itself wasn’t all that great, with Syracuse scoring six runs in the third to make the game a runaway. Leo’s father did notice, however, that his young son was smiling all the way.
Despite the fact that he was not playing, nor was the game all that exciting, Leo still managed to make himself the center of attention. In the bottom of the sixth inning, with the bases full of SkyChiefs and no one out, Leo decided he needed his diaper changed. Rather than miss all the action that was potentially going to happen, Leo’s father decided to change his son right on top of the Syracuse dugout.
When his father turned around to grab a fresh diaper from the bag, Leo began to roll down the roof of the dugout, toward a wide-open field. His father made a desperate grab at him, but somehow (because all babies are somehow imbued with a layer of slippery material), Leo quickly rolled to the edge of the dugout. Luckily, the players had noticed the commotion and went up to investigate. Leo sat on the edge for what seemed like forever, then as if in slow motion, rolled right off the edge of the roof.
With an audible yell that actually forced the umpires to call time, in that same instant, ten Syracuse SkyChiefs managed to give Leo a sea of arms to softly land on. With a mighty roar from their section, the catcher managed to return Leo to his lethally embarrassed father.
The incident even made the local news, getting all the way to ESPN’s Top Plays of the Day, much to the embarrassment of Leo’s parents. Despite the fact that his mother forbade him from taking him there until after his first birthday, the seed had been planted. Leo now had a love of baseball.