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THE WAY IT SHOULD BE
THOMAS LAKE
June 29, 2009
THE STORY OF AN ATHLETE'S SINGULAR GESTURE CONTINUES TO INSPIRE. CAREFUL, THOUGH, IT WILL MAKE YOU CRY
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June 29, 2009

The Way It Should Be

THE STORY OF AN ATHLETE'S SINGULAR GESTURE CONTINUES TO INSPIRE. CAREFUL, THOUGH, IT WILL MAKE YOU CRY

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"I wonder if they're laughing at us," Mallory says.

The spectators do not laugh. They stand, feeling a certain euphoria, their applause a mild hailstorm. Mallory lowers Sara's foot to third base. An umpire hovers nearby, just to make sure.

As the women turn toward home, a wheat farmer named Blake Wolf takes aim with his Pentax 10-megapixel and snares a crisp vertical snapshot, the only known still photograph of the event. The picture will be licensed by a nonprofit group called The Foundation for a Better Life and printed on nearly 1,400 billboards.

Sara looks up to see her teammates standing at home plate, clapping for her. Beyond her gratitude she feels a twinge of pride, because she has just hit the first home run of her career in what will prove to be her last at bat.

Mallory and Liz do not linger. As Sara is carried to her dugout to have her knee iced, the two Wildcats walk back to the pitcher's circle for a team huddle. They are still one loss from elimination.

"All right," Liz says. "Down three-zero. Let's get these outs and go in and hit."

I have seen many of the greatest moments in sports: Willie Mays' catch in center field, Bill Mazeroski's World Series winning homer, Kirk Gibson's homer in the World Series. I was present to watch Hank Aaron hit his record breaking homer, saw Yastrzemski win the triple crown . . . and on and on and on.

Nothing will live in my memory longer or with greater impact than the sportsmanship of Mallory and Liz.

GARY JOHNSON, VANCOUVER, WASH.

There was a green metal box in the bushes outside the bank. There was a threatening phone call. The police chief showed up, along with a captain and a bomb technician. The bomb technician scanned the box with an X-ray machine and decided it was part of a hoax. He carried the box into the bank. The chief and the captain went with him. The bomb technician tried to open the green metal box, and the chief and the captain tried to help him. The green metal box was not part of a hoax. The bomb exploded, and it killed the bomb technician and the captain, and it tore off the police chief's leg.

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