In 7th grade, I played baseball on the middle school team. I was a pitcher and, not to brag, fairly good. I use to go to these invitational camps where I'd play with high schoolers. My parents paid for private pitching lessons from a former professional pitching coach. We weren't rich, so this was a huge deal for me. My team, on the other hand, kind of sucked. We won 2 games all year and somehow made the last place in the county playoffs.
In the first round of the playoffs, our team was matched up against the powerhouse of the league. They won every game by the mercy rule. They threw me on the mound and let me go at it. It was that game where I unveiled two new pitches I had been working on: a circle change and a curveball. Most kids in this league had never seen anything other than a fastball, so this was a huge deal.
That game I pitched absolutely out of my mind. Everything was slowed down and some images are still burned into my mind over 20 years later. One of the most vivid memories is of a kid striking out by swinging at a curveball and missing by almost a foot, and then looking over to see his coaches and team silent after what just happened. It felt like I was in a movie.
After the 5th inning, we were up 5-0. I was pitching my very first no-hitter. We had a chance to actually win this. That inning we scored 6 runs and were up 11-0. All we had to do was last 1 more inning and we would have won in the 6th from the mercy rule. As I grab my mitt to go out for the 6th inning, the coach tells me he is taking me out of the game. I see the coaches son trotting out to start warming up on the mound. I was pissed, threw my mitt, and got yelled at. They wouldn't let me finish my no-hitter.
The coaches kid gave up 27 runs that inning.
The next year, I was kicked off the team for "throwing too hard" and calling a home run in batting practice. I never played again.