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A Senior’s Advice: Keep Swinging.

October 9, 2021

Ty Cosse is a senior at Marist School in Atlanta, Georgia. Ty is originally from Chalmette, Louisiana, just as I am. I know his family very well. His great grandfather was my middle school bus driver. His grandparents and mother have been close friends of mine for 30 years. I attended his parents’ wedding. I have framed photo of Ty as a toddler in my hallway gallery. I visited Ty and his family at his house in Louisiana the weekend before Hurrican Katrina hit.

From my hallway gallery. Ty and another of my friends, David Handrop. Arabi, LA, December 2004.

In September 2021, Ty committed to play baseball for Sewanee, a liberal arts college in Tennessee, as a pitcher and outfielder. In his essay below, Ty weaves together America’s Favorite Pastime and lessons from his own life.

Ty Cosse

I am pleased to offer my readers Ty’s essay, “Keep Swinging.”

Keep Swinging

Ty Cosse

I dig my metallic cleatsinto the dirt and the white chalk outline in the batter’s box. The grass and dirt on Jerry Queen field is illuminated by the bright stadium lights and the voices of the cheering crowd. The pitcher stands tall on the mound, sweat dripping down his face marked only by a dark brown stain of pine tar underneath his hat.I grip my bat and take a deep breath to let everything go as I stare into the impassioned eyes of the pitcher.

Living with a widowed single mom,staring down daunting challenges is a common theme throughout my life. At the age of two, my childhood home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, however, this catastrophic storm not only destroyed my house but my family as well. My father went back to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina and passed away while giving everything he had assisting members of his community in their time of need. I believe my father set the ultimate example of giving back to his community.I honor him by serving my community with service projects such as “Meals byGrace” and working in the “Christopher League”. The memory of my father compels me to be the best member of the community, son, friend, and man I can be each day. WHOOSH! The first pitch whips past my bat as I swing entirely too late.

The umpire calls strike one and I step out of the batter’s box. I take a deep breath, grip my bat, and once again get ready to swing. The move from Louisiana with no possessions was hard and to add to the chaos we found out my mom had cancer. I became resourceful, hardworking, and self-sufficient because of my mother. My mom beat cancer and led by example while working full time as a teacher and tutoring after school so that we could make it on our own. She taught me to cook, do my laundry, do yardwork, take out the trash, and most importantly, to be a hard-working self-reliant member of society. She instilled a desire in me to be the best in all I do. KABAM!!! The leather of the catcher’s mitt engulfs the baseball as it misses my bat for a second time.

The umpire calls strike two and I step out of the box. Accustomed to a bad hand, this 0-2 count was no different. Things started going my way until 2015 when my world once again turned upside down. A new man entered my life. My stepdad and his sons moved in after he married my mother, however, little did we know what they were hiding. They lied, they stole, and worst of all they cheated. Abusive with their words and actions, they made my life miserable. Thankfully they were removed from our home and lives. That curveball taught me to stand up for myself and stay true to who I am despite the toxic environment. I had to be there for my mother by stepping up and doing extra jobs around the house, while also attending school and playing sports. WHAM!!! The pitcher throws a curveball that misses my bat for strike three.

The ability to handle failure and keep striving for success are common themes in baseball and life. Throughout my journey, I have learned that no matter what life throws at me I just have to keep swinging and always be ready for the next pitch.

Congratulations, Ty. I am so proud of you and wish you the best with your future swings.

_______________________________________________________

One Comment
  1. speduktr permalink

    An inspiration for us all–just keep swinging.

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