Every June across this fair country of ours, young men gather around their living rooms and school gymnasiums and television screens to see if maybe, just maybe, some major league team will make their dreams come true and draft them as professional baseball players.
Last Thursday, high school pitcher Riley Pint gathered his friends and family in his metro Kansas City home to see if his dream would come true. Not only were they gathered around the television, there were television cameras gathered around them to capture their reactions. When the flame throwing righthander was taken no. 4 overall by the Rockies the room went bananas.
This is pure unfiltered emotion at its finest. What’s more, this joyous outburst was captured for posterity.
But who are these people? Where did they come from? Why were they there? What were they doing? And how did they react to the news that their beloved Riley had gone number 4? Let’s take a closer look.
The Background Players
There are a lot of people back here, from aunts and uncles, to maybe friends and girlfriends of some of Riley’s teammates. They are all very clearly excited to be a part of this moment. But there are a few people who are emotionless.
It’s unclear why these kids are here. Maybe one or both of them are a sibling and the other is the friend he insisted be allowed to be there. Maybe they’re just some neighbor kids who saw the camera crews and snuck in to see what was going on. Either way these kids decided the ballerest move they could make would be to show absolutely no emotion when the grand moment arrived. Consider this the recognition of your baller move young ones.
AAGH! Gosh, little kids are sneaky, aren’t they?
I can only assume that this group of young men sitting directly behind Riley are his teammates. You can tell by the way that they are. The two guys in the foreground are generally amused by this news and the one immediately to their right is pretty happy, but his face is mostly obscured (get a better seat next time, pal). But the guys behind them really steal the show here.
This young man, sporting the traditional senior-in-high-school-facial-hair-chin-beard, had the presence of mind to get out his phone to try to record the big moment when it showed up on screen. And yet somehow he is still completely shocked at what has happened before him. That or he looked at his phone and discovered that bees are dying at an alarming rate.
The guy in the corner is having the exact opposite experience. He has never known such excitement in all his life. Not the first time he found Christmas presents for himself under the tree, not the first time he rode a bike or got his drivers license, not even the first time he enjoyed a Chipotle burrito. He couldn't be more happy if this was happening to him.
“Oh no he’s going to the Rockies he’s doomed his career is over his arms are going to fall off—I can’t see one of his arms they already did I’m going to throw up.”
There’s one in every crowd.
The Guys Who Look At The Camera
The man in the background is clearly an uncle who, like the young man to his left, is shocked at something going on in front of him.
That explains it.
It’s probably the Hawaiian shirt that shocked Uncle Pint into such a distracted state. Get a load of this guy. First of all, give him credit for the masterful seating choice. See that forehead in the foreground? That’s Riley’s. Guy knew exactly what he was doing. Now he can’t be blamed for the flame of red hair on his head; speaking as a half ginger, sometimes you just have to embrace it. And embrace it this young gentleman did. “Everyone is going to see me anyway. Might as well make it seem intentional.” He found the loudest Hawaiian shirt in the tri-county area. He grew out his facial hair for a couple of days. He sat himself right in line with the camera. And in the moment of truth, he turned, looked, and did not hold up the number of fingers that corresponded to the pick.
Man that would have been so awkward.
This is a man with goals. And he did what he needed to do to achieve them.
"Hey everyone listen up! Riley got drafted did you notice?"
This is the face of a man who is merely bemused at the whole situation. Everyone else around (except for the ballers in the back) is incredibly excited. Is it cognitive dissonance, like it hasn’t really sunk in what’s happened? Is it genuine humility, knowing there is still much to accomplish? I don't think it’s either. I think this is the face of someone who has the whole world fooled.
I think this is the face of the top child of three small children stacked on top of one another and he knows everybody around him doesn’t have a clue. Until now.