TOP OF THE SIXTH: ROYALS 6 (2) – 1 ATHLETICS
Mr. Cam Gallagher, I’m assigning you a mission. You have a job to do.
Start from tonight. Build from here. Create a groundswell, a renown.
Take this game, this inning, and go full throttle toward the headlines. Fame. Household dinner-table fame. Sponsorship deals. All-Star games. Fame. Big fame!
This job will be a tough one. This job is unlikely. This job, after tonight, just became a little bit easier.
Your job is this:
Dethrone your two namesakes. The two Gallaghers.
Liam and Leo. Mop top and mustache. “Sledge-O-Matic” and “Wonderwall”.
Do this, day by day until it’s fully realized, and become: TOP GALLAGHER.
There can be only one.
You don’t want this to be the Gallagher we remember, do you?
You’re up in the sixth inning, in Oakland, the bases loaded, your first week of major-league baseball. Melky Cabrera walked on four pitches, Moustakas lined a single to center, Escobar hit an infield chopper for a hit. And now you. Two outs. Up by one. The Royals hovering just over .500 on the year. You’ve already got one feel-good story to your name—how about you make another?
— FOX Sports KC (@FSKansasCity) August 6, 2017
Bases loaded. Two outs. Full count, Jharel Cotton on the mound.
“Either way,” they say on the broadcast, “this is probably his last hitter.”
Bruce Maxwell comes out for a mound visit.
The planets are beginning to align.
Remember what I told you. Remember what I f*cking told you! Don’t blow it.
And on the broadcast, a most auspicious sign—for some reason not mentioned at all until the full count.
“I guess a grand slam would be pretty special for him, wouldn’t it?”
“And it would be for Tim Brown, in Shawnee—our contestant in the Sonic Slam inning.”
“Oh, Tim! Gotta get on the edge of your seat, buddy, you’ve got a chance here! Fastball coming.”
The “Sonic Slam Inning”: if a Royals player hits a grand slam in the sixth inning, a fan gets $25,000. Sidenote: You’d think MLB would disallow the “Sonic Slam” since they’ve taken on the whole “Papa Slam” thing, no?
Cam Gallagher said Drew Butera told him about the $25K prize when he came in after catching the sixth. “I thought he was joking,” he said.
— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) August 15, 2017
In any case—it’s the sixth inning, Cam. The bases are loaded, Cam. What’s it going to be? He steps in, he readies.
Two-seamer down the middle from Cotton.
Gallagher swings, as if swinging the Sledge-O-Matic, as if smashing a guitar, as if out-Gallaghering all other Gallaghers—swinging with purpose.
The ball soars down the line in left, screaming over the outfield grass, curling just inside the foul pole and bouncing around into the empty seats above the wall.
Grand slam. Sonic Slam. Royals up 6-1.
Sonic executives right now pic.twitter.com/yG1YTPwE1k
— Shaun Newkirk (@Shauncore) August 15, 2017
Salvador Perez in the dugout beaming, reenacting the swing. The guys holding up hand hearts as he rounds third base. Cam Gallagher, least known of all Gallaghers, beginning his slow trek to the top.
The broadcast guys rejoice, having called the shot.
“Ho hoo aaahhh! Cha-ching!! That’s beautiful! I’m gonna cry!”
“25,000 dollars on its way to Shawnee—congratulations to Tim Brown!”
— FOX Sports KC (@FSKansasCity) August 15, 2017
You did it, Mr. Gallagher. Step one. A long road ahead, but you’ve taken the first step. An inch more toward peak Gallagherdom. Surging ahead to where Gallagher is your Gallagher, you Gallagher. Cam Gallagher.
Be the Gallagher we remember, Cam.
Long, long way to go. But remember.
Highlander Gallagher. There can be only one.