Saturday, July 29, 2017

MOD MAN #8 Origins

In the first year playing for the Dodgers Malcolm continued to impress. He was soon getting people expecting him to break more rookie records. Unfortunately the team at that time wasn’t entirely that good. It had turned into a frustrating season with the shining spot being Malcolm’s play. The season was long so there was time and hope for them to turn it around and make a run for the playoffs. 

At around this time the team was headed out on a long road trip that would take them through Texas playing both the Rangers and the Astros. This also in a way meant a homecoming of sort being Malcolm was alumni of the University of Texas. He could visit some of the people he had known before. This definitely included Candace. She had been watching his performance rather closely becoming a bit of a baseball fan in her own right. She had been tracking Malcolm’s progress and comparing it to other rookies throughout the year even the ones he was most compared to. She, herself, was coming up on her final year in school and was expecting to take herself overseas to do a Masters course, but with all of these ideas, hopes, and dreams everything was still up in the air. One thing she knew was as Malcolm’s team was coming to town she needed to be there and see him, as it had been too long. 

They had been corresponding by phone, mail, email, and social media. Yet the most heartfelt messages were the hand written letters he’d write her of his travels writing them on hotel stationary, dinner napkins, or even hand made cards made of a mogpog of items. She kept at him about taking photos and working his creative eye, which sometimes turned into secret messages that showed how much they really missed each other. This would be Malcolm’s teams only stop in the area unless they made it into the post season, which was seeming like a long shot so the two devised a plan. They would find some way to meet up while the Dodgers were in Texas. This would mean Candace would have to do some driving as Austin, TX where she was about a two and a half hour drive to Houston, TX home of the Astros. This they decided was the better of the two as Arlington, TX where the Rangers played was a three and a half hour drive. Candace would drive down after her last class of the day, which after checking in to her hotel and freshen up she could be at the field come batting practice with the intent of meeting up for drinks if not dinner after the game.

The days leading up to the trip they were in daily contact. He had some trying thoughts he shared with her after a particularly tough game, which made it seem like old times. Now being a professional ball player yes there were perks one being the attention they would garner everywhere they would go. Another was the access they received and even another was the crazed fans. Malcolm would tell Candace about these occurrences at clubs, bars, and after games and at hotels, but sensed she had a hard time hearing about them so he kept that part of his professional athlete lifestyle to himself making what they had rather special.

As the trip continued to near Malcolm’s play heated up and he was batting .384 with 35 RBI’s 20 HRS and no errors in the field. His play alone was keeping his team in many of the games they played, while their pitching was the one letting them get away. The game just before their Texas trip Malcolm hit for the cycle against the D-Backs putting him front and center in the rookie of the year talks. Candace watched that game from beginning to end, which in the end the Dodgers lost in extra innings. It was a heartbreaking loss, but at least the trip into Texas came with some benefits for Malcolm and hopefully for the team as both the Astros and Rangers were teams the Dodgers were expected to beat. 

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