I must have walked past this old backstop dozens of times without even noticing. It sits in a back corner behind the local elementary school, looking like a forgotten relic of another age. On this day, I was coming back from my morning hike, feeling rather tired and discouraged. Suddenly, there it was: broken, rusted, tilted askew, its small wheels half buried in mud — instantly and warmly familiar, an image from my own elementary school days.

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