The Wilson Times

Tuesday, March 05, 2013 10:05 AM

Slugger Enjoys Spring Training

By Lee Jennings

Slugger the tobacco worm imagined his opening night for the Tobs Baseball Team’s 17th season. It was May 28th, and the stadium was packed with fans of all ages! His new look was the talk of all of the kids. They could hardly wait to see how he had changed since he had been working out in spring training.

Some kids had gotten to know Slugger at their schools. Some had seen him at previous season games. Some kids had seen his picture on t-shirts and baseballs. They knew that he would look different, but how?

Slugger was imagining this as he was running up and down the steps at Historic Fleming Stadium in March. He could feel his heart beating faster. He could feel his chest moving with air. He could almost feel his extra fat just turning into muscle. Spring training was turning out to be a lot of hard work but really fun too.

Slugger had been lifting weights at the YMCA. He had been participating at batting practice with the Tobs team. He had even been running the baseball field to get in top shape. He thought he could even see his tail since he was trimming his physique!

He was eating healthier too. He loved McDonald’s grilled chicken Caesar salad and their southwest grilled chicken salad. He would head over to McDonald’s for lunch after a morning’s workout many days. "Healthy and tasty is good for my waisty,” was his favorite thing to say at every meal. The nice people at New Hope Primary Care had encouraged Slugger to eat healthy, exercise, and get the rest he needed at the end of the day. Slugger was avid about getting into better shape and followed the instructions to get the best results possible.

One day, Slugger looked in the mirror and could hardly believe his eyes. He was much more in shape and he thought much more handsome. He decided that he might need to take better care of every area of his life.

He sat down at his kitchen table and thought how he could do this. One thing that stuck out in his mind was that he might need insurance. Didn’t all responsible mascots have life insurance? Besides, a car almost hit him the other day because the driver was so impressed with Slugger’s muscle gain that they swerved just looking at him.

Slugger knew just where to go. He headed over to the Farm Bureau office to visit with the Jeff Price Agency. At first, the receptionist let out a small scream when she looked up and saw Slugger. It wasn’t every day that a tobacco worm walked into her office. But then, she recognized him and welcomed him like an old friend.

Slugger felt really good about what he was accomplishing and decided that the next place he would visit would be to the law offices of Thomas & Farris. He wanted to know if he should get a will since he was becoming so active and community oriented. The law office helped him out and congratulated Slugger on his decision to become healthier.

Slugger was enjoying the citizens and businesses of Wilson more than he ever had before. The people were so friendly and helpful to him, and he was learning that being healthier gave him more energy as well as a better physique.

He had always loved how children rushed up to him at games while others shyly stared up at him in interest. This coming season he wanted more than ever to play more games with the fans, run bases with the fans, and participate in the between-innings contests with fans. He loved the excitement of it all. Just thinking about the opening night made him shiver a little with anticipation.

Plus there was a new kids club sponsored by his friends at New Hope Primary Care. Kids 12 years and younger could easily become members by signing up at Slugger had seen the information in the Wilson Times where he was informed on the latest news. He looked forward to seeing the Kids Club members’ happy faces on the nights they had free admission to the ball park and to getting their free snow cones or popcorn and their free t-shirts. He also looked forward to seeing them use their badges for access to sit in a designated section behind the players. This was a special honor for these kids, and they usually really appreciated it. There was even a night where the Kids Club members could go out on the field with the players while the National Anthem was being performed!

Slugger was getting hungry again and tried to decide where he wanted to eat his supper. He was beginning to love salads, and Wilson served up some delicious ones. Slugger’s favorite places to eat a salad were The Beefmastor Inn, Pizza Inn, Western Sizzlin, and McDonald’s. He also loved the vegetables at K&W. And he was thrilled that now Bill’s Barbecue served turkey barbecue which was a healthy alternative. One place that Slugger just couldn’t resist was Bojangles with its southern cuisine. Besides, a tobacco worm had to love southern food, didn’t he?

Slugger decided on his meal, and after he ate, he headed home for a good night’s rest. He knew that some exciting adventures waited for him in the days to come, and he wanted to be wide awake and ready for them. He settled in for the night and reviewed his workout information and schedule on his laptop. He had internet access through Greenlight and hoped that he would soon be able to run as fast as he could get internet. Wilson’s internet service was the fastest in the state!

As Slugger’s eyes grew heavy, he walked to his bed and thought about how good he felt about his day. What would his next adventure be? One thing was sure. Slugger would be having a hilarious time learning to dance to Cotton Eyed Jo in the next few weeks. His muscles were getting bigger and his tail was growing larger as his physique trimmed down. And this change would set Slugger on a schedule to practice his dancing without losing his balance. Would he get his dance moves smooth before May 28th’s season opener?

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