Damian Dydyn takes us through a heroic night for Hanley Ramirez in The Death of Pride.
There is darkness lying in wait in the hearts of all men. Sometimes subtle, but often bold and full of hubris it stirs, always threatening. Never silent. It is said that heroes are never born, but instead, must be forged in fire, tempered like steel. It was one such hero that was called to defend the honor of the city of Boston, in the heart of the cathedral at the Fens on a thick summer night. Hanley Ramirez, once full of hubris himself and exiled in his youth, found himself returned home older and wiser. The path he had travelled to arrive at that exact moment, in exactly those circumstances, is a riveting tale, but is a story for another time. This is the recounting of the night that Pride itself was slain.
Brave Hanley took the field, not the young upstart of yesteryear, but a seasoned veteran soldier filled with humility and grace. It was these qualities that he rode into the pages of history, forging the path of legend, as only a hero can.
This night began as so many others do, with the guardians of the wall adorned in the blood red stockings that strike paralyzing fear into the hearts of their enemies, bludgeoning their way to an early advantage. Having ridden Hanley’s might early in the battle, victory seemed all but assured.
The Giants of the Western Bay, however, would not go easily into the hungry jaws of defeat. As the tide of the conflict turned, the hulking Ramirez stood tall against his foes, prepared to bend the will of Fortune back upon his companions. Albert Suarez, a small man, in spirit, if not in stature, driven by vile pride stood between Hanley and righteous victory, desperate to steal even the smallest of triumphs. Instead of facing Ramirez with honor, he struck him down in the manner of a coward.
Our hero, faced with two paths, had the weight of decision thrust upon him. The temptation to retaliate in kind was overwhelming, but a hero does not lash out in anger, even when the fires of rage course through him. Instead of vengeance, Hanley promised justice, and tended to his wounds while his brothers in arms continued the fight.
The battle waged on, with the invaders drawing nearer and nearer to victory and for a time, all seemed lost on the path of the Key of Yaw. As the darkness spread and light had faded to a distant memory, the fallen hero climbed back to his feet and dug in his heels against the evil Suarez once more. The two locked eyes and the world hung still in the endless chasm between them. Time slowed to crawl. An eternity within a moment.
Suarez lashed out, ferocity driven by fear and hate. Ramirez, serene, struck with precision and power.
Amidst the utter chaos of a battle long past the point of control, everything else stopped. There were only Suarez and Ramirez charging each other; the entire battle condensed to a single clash. A single moment.
And then it was over.
The fight would drag on for some time after that fulcrum, but in truth had all but ended with Suarez’s demise. As Hanley circled the field, weapon raised high, virtue intact, the people of the Fens rejoiced, for mighty Giants had seen their souls crushed by the Vanquisher of Pride.
Damian Dydyn has written about an illegal slide, Mookie Betts, rookies adjusting, and managing a fantasy baseball team.
Follow Damian on Twitter @ddydyn.