Deglester Harglonou. That was his name. We’ll call Douglas. Douglas loved baseball. Ever since he was 4 when his dad took him to his first game. He had grown up in Chicago. His dad had been a Cubs fan growing up so he became a Cubs fan. It was too bad though because if there is anything tough to do in sports, it’s to be a Cubs fan. I mean really Chicago, it looks like you named your sports teams with animals that showed how good they are. The Chicago basketball team was the Chicago Bulls and they were in the Jordan Era where Michael Jordan was winning title after title. Then, there was the football team, the Chicago Bears. The bears never really did anything good except for having one of the most dominant seasons in NFL history and winning their first and so far only Super Bowl back in 1985. And then there was one of Chicago’s baseball teams… the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs hadn’t won a world series since 1908 and the cubs were often made fun of for having the longest drought in American professional sports history. There you have it, Bulls, Bears, and those cute little cubs.
After all of this, it didn’t matter to Douglas, he loved baseball. He played everyday and he went to Cubs games whenever he could. Most of all, Douglas was a competitor. He loved to win. It made him feel accomplished. Sometimes though, he went a little too far to win. He liked to cheat a lot. He would do something if he thought it was right. He always wanted to be better and he thought that if he cheated, he was just thinking better than his opponent.
As Douglas grew up, he baseball skills did too. He played in local little leagues and found out that he was taller than all of them. He could blaze pitches by them without them even knowing where it was. Some kids even questioned that he was under the age limit. This got Douglas mad sometimes. He hated it when kids didn’t trust him. The fact that he was so good that his age came into question. He wanted to punch everyone who asked him except his family members because they would always forget. By the time Douglas was 10, national scouts had heard of him. A big, tall, righty pitcher with a huge fastball and a good changeup. Douglas was proud of himself. He practiced everyday. Douglas’s parents always thought that he was a good pitcher. A great pitcher. An amazing pitcher. They wanted him to be the best no matter what it would take.
When Douglas was about to turn 11. He was 5’8. That was huge for someone who was 11. He admitted that he was tall but that he wasn’t older than he said he was. This got him mad. Really mad. So mad that he wanted to stop playing baseball. That was something that he had never thought of before. His parents though, wouldn’t let him not play baseball. Baseball was his life. There was no way he couldn’t play baseball. He would either be doing his homework and sleeping or playing baseball, that was it.
All the time, Douglas had been practicing, he had been waiting to play in The Little League World Series. He knew he would make the team but something wasn’t right. He didn’t want to play. He knew some kids would be annoying. He had an idea. He wondered if his parents would even consider his idea. His idea was to lie. That’s right, lie. He wanted to skip one year but he would change his passport and birth certificate to say the he was a year younger. He knew the chance of his parents approving were as high as the chances of getting a phone but he didn’t care. Douglas wanted to play Little League, but he wanted to lie about his age.
That is right. Lie about his age. He wanted to be 14, which is too old. He had to make a plan on how to tell his parents and how to get away with it. He decided to pick a good day when his parents were in a good mood to ask them. He decided that that day was tomorrow. He couldn’t sleep that night. He was so nervous. He wondered what they would say. Would he get in trouble for even thinking about it? Would they say yes because they wanted him to be successful? All of this was flowing through his head that night. Douglas couldn’t focus in school the next day. He was thinking of baseball. Which he usually does. Except this time he was worried about baseball. What would happen if he got in trouble? Would he get to play baseball again if he got caught? These were the new questions he was thinking about. He had to sit out because he couldn’t focus at all. He wouldn’t do any of his work and wouldn’t listen to anybody. It was like he was in his own world. Nobody could get to him. Nobody could look at him, Hear him, or even smell him in some cases. It was a bad day for Douglas and it could get much, much worse. He was now considering not asking his parents because if he got in trouble he would feel so bad that he wouldn’t play baseball for a long time. Later in the day, he was informed that a call was made home to his parents about his participation in school and that she didn’t sound to happy. When Douglas got this news, he was so mad that he just walked away. He didn’t care that he was in a lot of trouble because his plan was in jeopardy.
When school was over, he walked home and thought really hard. He decided to not ask that day. A couple days later, he decided to ask his parents. They had a very long talk with him. Eventually, they decided that if he really wanted to do it, then he could but he would have to make sure to cover it well. Douglas was amazed. He realized that his parents didn’t care. He could do whatever he wanted and they wouldn’t get mad as long as he didn’t get in trouble and didn’t make them look bad. Suddenly, Douglas didn’t want to play baseball. It struck him so suddenly that he didn’t believe himself. Douglas just sat home and did nothing. He was trying to figure himself out. He was caught in the moment. He didn’t know what to do.
A couple years past and Douglas struggled. He didn’t know what was going on and it seemed like his parents didn’t care at all. So, he played Little League when he was 14 and he was the best pitcher in all of Little League. He was pitching so well that some people were calling him the next great thing and were comparing his dominance to that of Danny Almonte. He was enjoying himself and was just hoping that nobody would think that he was 14. After games, he would sometimes go and hangout with kids from other teams and countries and they usually share their social media account names. Late that night, Douglas was looking at his instagram account and noticed that he posted about his 14th birthday. It hit him. He started freaking out because he was bored. Sometimes he just wanted to see what he did in his life because he never remembered things that weren’t really important. He immediately deleted the photo and hoped that nobody had seen it. The problem was that he realized way too late and some kids who hadn’t played that day had decided to go on his page and see what he posted. He looked at the photo and stopped to think for a minute. He was surprised and confused and he didn’t know what he should do. He decided to take a picture just to have it. Later, as Douglas was tearing up batters like he would tear up a fresh chicken, he realized that this kid was so good that the reason that he was so good was that he was too old. He immediately knew he had to do something but he really didn’t want to. He went to his coach the first time he saw him the next morning in practice. His coach went to the head of all competition and showed him the only evidence he had. Douglas was told that he had to come because there was an issue. He was thinking the whole time but he almost knew for sure that they knew. When Douglas got there, he walked in and immediately knew by the look on their face that something was not good. “Douglas, sit down please, we have an issue that we need to talk to you about.” said the head of competition. “Douglas, last night, Quincy-John-Adams say a photo on your instagram about your 14th birthday”. “Are you 14” he asked. “Yes” Douglas said while he was starting to cry. “I am sorry Douglas but your whole team is now disqualified from all competition this year”.