A Legacy of Diamonds
© 2014, Gadi Bossin
P.O. Box 20
Kiryat Bialik, Israel
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author.
A LEGACY OF DIAMONDS: PROLOGUE
I love softball!
That’s why I write about the game.
It was in the spring of 1957 when I was ten years old that I began playing organized fastpitch softball.
I retired from the game in the fall of 2012 a month before my sixty-sixth birthday.
I played every position on the field over the years and was an effective batter and base runner throughout my decades in the game.
I’m very proud to say I was competitive until the very end.
But whatever I could say about my exploits on the field of play would be lost on today’s players.
Only a very few are old enough to remember me as a speedy lead-off hitter and shortstop.
Nevertheless, in the last game I played in the Israel Softball Association’s annual fall tournament, I struck out four batters in the three innings I pitched.
I got two batters on called strikes and the other two went down swinging and fanning at third strikes.
And we won the game.
Ah, that was a great final memory to take with me.
The softball gods were on my team that day.
Now I’m going to tell you a story about a game that was played at the Kibbutz Gezer field during the spring season of 2005.
I call it “A Legacy of Diamonds.”
Why “A Legacy of Diamonds”?
Well, I’ve always been very conscious that we play the game we love on what we call a softball diamond and that many brilliant plays by fielders and batters and base runners shine like gems.
Some of those gems sparkled like diamonds when I first saw them and some even continue to sparkle for me when I think of them years later.
I confess that I remember, think about and enjoy reliving my own feats on the softball diamond.
And I derive great satisfaction from knowing that as a player and coach I’ve passed on the love of the game to another generation of players and coaches who for years now have in turn been passing on this legacy of diamonds to yet another generation of softball players.
But even though “A Legacy of Diamonds” tells the tale of a game in which I played the role of goat-to-clutch hitter in the final inning—and make no mistake here: I love recalling that transformation—ultimately this story is about the legacy of diamonds another player will leave when he retires.
I’m speaking about Yaron Ben Israel, for “A Legacy of Diamonds” tells the tale of one inning that illustrates Yaron’s passion for softball, the limitlessness of his competitive spirit, his strict sense of good sportsmanship and his utter respect for the purity of the game itself.
Yaron, Dimona’s legend-in-his-own-lifetime pitcher, his team’s perennial Most Valuable Player and a Team Israel stalwart for many years, has made more than his share of great plays and has produced countless pitching, fielding and hitting gems.
Yaron and I played in the game that the game in the story is based upon.
I’ve chosen to fictionalize the story.
That way I get to say what the players say to each other.
And I can look back at that inning I’m describing and pretend I remember exactly what I was thinking as the inning unraveled.
Fictionalizing “A Legacy of Diamonds” was a convenient way for me to shape the story exactly as I wanted to shape it.
The final score in the story is a bit different from the one in the real-life game.
In real life, Dimona was the home team. In the story, they’re the away team.
I never mention the name of the team I was playing on at the time. It’s just not important for the purposes of the story.
And there’s more:
I’ve changed the names of all the players who play the various parts in the story, apart from Yaron’s name and my own.
I called and asked him if he had any objections to my using his name in this story.
I also requested permission to use the photo of him pitching that appears on the cover.
Like the true gentleman he has always been, he said, “No, Gadi. Go ahead. It’s okay with me.”
And now let’s get to the story itself.
Now click on A LEGACY OF DIAMONDS: PART ONE