It was coming toward the end of the season for the UCLA’s undefeated baseball team. It was going to be one of their final games against Vanderbilt who had been on a twenty game losing streak. Taking the mound Justin Price the most feared pitcher in college baseball. Also Spencer Cabrera batting clean up who had lead the college league with best batting average and most homeruns since he was a freshman. The game was over for Vanderbilt before it even began. Preparing for the MLB draft Spencer and Justin were both great first round picks. Best friends since high school they knew the game and each other better than anyone else. But behind the best hitter in college baseball was an addict.
Spencer loved to gamble and he was good at it to. No wonder he drove a blue mustang around campus when both of his parents had passed away in a flaming house in Detroit. But he was a risky better. He would bet on things he knew he could one but knew he couldn’t pay if God decided to flip the script. Spencer had placed a bet of 100,000 dollars on this game. He wasn’t even worried about it.
Game day fell upon California. Justin was scaring Vanderbilt’s batters just with his warm up pitches. Moments before the game Spencer told Justin about the bet. He told him to act like it was just a regular game and not to even think about it. Justin knew the consequences if he lost and it bothered him every pitch. That day UCLA lost to Vanderbilt six to five due to a walk off solo homerun. Spencer was killed that night trying to escape town in his mustang.
Justin had been praying all night hoping that they would forgive him. When he woke up to two detectives at his door he knew something had just gone terribly wrong. He was told the news and was asked if he knew anything about it. He told them nothing. You learn a couple tricks when your best friend is a crazy gambler. Spencer’s death clouded Justin’s mind. He could not think of anything else but that it was his fault Spencer died that night.
He missed three practices in a row, never showed up to class and missed Spencer’s funeral. Concerned his coach decided to stop by to see his all star pitcher that had been absent to a handful of practices. Justin did not want to see anybody but the coach insisted. They talked and Justin told him everything he knew that happened. As shocked as the Coach was he told Justin that he needs to forget about it. He told him that the draft was coming up and if he didn’t make a comeback no teams would want him for much. The Coach offered to start him in the next game.
Justin was so furious with the Coach due to the fact that he told him to forget about Spencer. He told the Coach that he was done with baseball and that he would never play again. Justin was throwing his life away due to Spencer’s loss. Everyday Justin went to Spencer’s grave and apologized profusely. Justin could not forgive himself.
It was coming up to the last game of the season. The Coach decided to pay Justin a visit a week before the final game the college championship. Even after Justin told him to leave the Coach would not listen. The Coach apologized for telling Justin to forget about Spencer. Justin would not listen. He told Justin that he must never forget but not dwell on the loss. He told Justin that it was not his decision but he will start Justin during the championship game to redeem himself. Justin told him he needed time to think.
As soon as the Coach left Justin go to work. He pitched all day and all night to prepare for this big game. The night before the game Justin had a dream. It was he was in heaven standing next to him was Spencer. He tried to apologize to Spencer. Spencer told him that it was all okay and to forget about it. He said he has the opportunity of a lifetime as the major league scouts were all going to be at this game. He told Justin that he was ready and that he just needed to do his best. They both knew Justin deserved to play in the big leagues it was time for him to prove it to the scouts.
The morning of the game day the Coach stopped by to see Justin and asked him if he had made a decision. Justin was ready to pitch his best for UCLA. Sitting in the locker room he looked over at what use to be Spencer’s locker. It had roses all over it and a big banner hanging that said RIP Spencer. Justin took his cap off and wrote on his hat with chalk RIP Spencer Cabrera #8. He stared in to the sky for a brief second remembering what Spencer had told him in the dream. As he walked on to the field the other team was mocking Justin trying to make him panic. As they knew he had been absent in the past couple of games.
Justin paid no attention to him as he pitched a perfect game. Not a single man got on base that day. Justin had one UCLA the college championship. That night Justin got a letter inviting him to the MLB draft in New York City which would take place in a week.
As the week passed Justin was in New York City about to have an experience of a lifetime. His Coach told him to have fun because you only get drafted once. His family joined him in the celebration. As the draft took place Spencer was the first round pick by the Detroit Tigers to play as a starting pitcher for twenty four million a year. It was his home town. Everyone in America knew Justin’s name. He still claims that as he was walking up to say his speech at the end of the draft he saw the one and only Spencer in the crowd.
Justin had one of the most successful careers in the MLB. Played for the Tigers since the day he was drafted till he was forty-five years old. He was as big as Derek Jeter. He went down in the hall of fame as the pitcher with the lowest ERA in Major League Baseball history. The only people that are alive and know about what happened that one night was Justin. It was his little secret. Something that he learned from and made him in to the pitcher he was.
Now he is the head coach at UCLA’s college baseball team. He coaches his team like no other. His son was a big baseball player in UVM. Justin had made a pledge to never step in to a casino ever. Even though he never forget about Spencer he always kept him in his heart. Justin learned to learn from his pain and not to ever give up on anything he cares dearly about. As Justin’s name grew so did Spencer’s everyone knew about the tragic incident about how a all star baseball player was murdered while in his car. Spencer’s Mustang was parked in a glass case at the center field 510 feet after the homerun mark. This was because that was were Spencer hit his longest homerun. It is said that if a baseball player hits it during a game he will be blessed with Spencer’s batting average and talent. To this day no one on the UCLA team has hit that mark.