Philip Bowler, nine years old, sits in his modified electric wheelchair with his mother and father, Regis and Agnes, at Turner Field watching his beloved New York Mets battle the Atlanta Braves. Mets first basemen, Doug Mientkiewicz, dusts off his clets as Tim Hudson, a right-hander for the Braves, prepares to throw his pitch. The Mets are down, again, 9-0 to the Braves in the final inning.
Mientkiewicz is caught looking at strike three.
"That punk ought to take his junky ass back to Boston." says Philip as he rolls in a circle. He wears a New York Yankees hat because they were on sale.
Philip is dying. He has a rare form of cancer that I didn't bother to remember to write down. Doctors say he might live to see ten but odds are slim. He has only one dream; he wants his favorite baseball team, the New York Mets, win a series against the Atlanta Braves. Enlisting the aid of the Make-A-Wish foudation, he believes his dream will come true.
"What's up with Make-A-Wish? They need to step their game up. Back in the day the Mets were balling. When they had Keith Hernandez, Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. Maybe Make-A-Wish should break off some crack to this year's team."
Philip wheels himself to the bullpen where two Mets pitchers are taking a nap.
"I got a bag for twenty!" he says.
Julia Montgomery, the assistant director to the regional vice president of Make-A-Wish holds hands with Philip's parents.
"There isn't more we can do. I spoke with the Met players before the game and they seemed inspired. Then they told me that Kaz Ishii was pitching and I almost crapped myself."
The final score is Atlanta 9 New York 1. The Mets lose yet another series. As happy Braves fans leave Turner Field, they pass Philip, who is wearing a bootleg Mets jersey with purple and orange colors. Some fans dump their popcorn on him. Others bump his wheelchair and spill swill filled soda on his lap. Others grab their crotches and say "Mets suck!" as they pass.
With the season almost over, it is almost impossible to fulfill Phillp's wish. The Mets, thank God, have only one series left with the Braves. Julia tries to comfront the dying boy in his last days.
"Maybe there's baseball in Heaven." she says.
Arthur Ginn was a starting forward for the Georgia Men's basketball team before he was kicked off for betting against his teammates. Angry that they didn't get a fair cut of his winnings, he was kicked off the team. His work has appeared in the Gwinnett County Correctional Center's newsletter.