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In this moment, I am remembering the pronounced ping of the ball punched by the aluminum bat, followed by the gruesome image of that ball beaning the forehead of my father, some 50 feet away.We were in the open field behind the apartment complex he inhabited in suburban Kansas City. I was a Cleveland-born child of divorce visiting my dad, as I did for a couple weeks each summer. And while we didn't share a home or even a state, we did share a bond through baseball -- one that was tightened each time we'd go out to that field to play catch or stage an impromptu (and, as it would turn out, unsafe) round of batting practice. Two thoughts quickly jolted through my 12-year-old brain as I saw my father fall to the ground in a heap. 1. Oh my God, I think I killed him. 2. Man, I crushed that pitch.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, CastroTurf, and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.