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    Photos by Adam Mescan

    “Play ball!” coach yells. 

    They try. They are 10 or 9, all mixed up, size-wize  — some hitting growth spurts, some too short for their small bats, some a bit mom-says-I’m-husky, most composed of toothpicks. 

    Six p.m. Wyandotte Park, nestled in the crook of Taylor Boulevard and I-264. Tonight is the first game of the season for Louisville’s RBI program, started by Major League Baseball to “Revive Baseball in Inner Cities.” It’s the Southwick Braves vs. the Metro Parks Red Sox. The sky’s been testy the past two weeks, but today the sun speaks up, and the diamond dirt kicking up under little cleats answers, Summer. At least, most of the kids have cleats. Jerseys, caps, those poofy pants, special socks. One kid wears blue jeans, another basketball shorts. A few boys walked up to the game with their parents, having never hit a baseball before. Volunteers signed them up, gave them T-shirts and sent them out onto the field.  

    Coaches stand around the diamond. “There you go!” they say. “Feet straight!” Strike one, strike two, strike three, many times. A few pitches miss the catcher, one clips a kid in the face. But a batter for the Braves gets a hit, and he’s at first before they can stop him. “Get him!” moms yell through the black chain-link. They don’t. Third catches the ball, but the batter’s past him. Home run. One to nothing. Game.

    This originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe to Louisville Magazine, click here. To find your very own copy of Louisville Magazine, click here. 

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    About Dylon Jones

    Staff writer Dylon Jones first contributed to the magazine in 2014 and joined the staff in 2015. He's written profiles, features, essays, criticism and reportage about a wide variety of topics and won awards for feature writing and profile writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is particularly interested in narrative journalism, the arts and LGBTQ experience. Jones is an award-winning poet with work published in Tinderbox Poetry Journal and The Collagist.

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