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Michael Lewis reflects on his last year as a Grand Falls-Windsor Brave

Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis - Contributed

The walk from the dugout to the bullpen to the pitcher’s mound is a familiar one for Michael Lewis.  

Michael Lewis delivers a pitch to the plate during his start in the 2019 provincial baseball championships. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Michael Lewis delivers a pitch to the plate during his start in the 2019 provincial baseball championships. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO


The 21-year-old pitcher from Grand Falls-Windsor knows how many steps it takes to get there, when the nerves start coming through and what step officially starts his warmup. 
Yet, there is something Lewis didn’t know about that walk until he stepped out of the first base dugout at St. Pat’s Field in St. John’s on July 19. 
He didn’t know what it felt like to make the walk as a member of the Grand Falls-Windsor Braves. 
Lewis hadn’t worn the jersey since he was about 14. It was around the second year of his bantam division year that he stopped being a member of the Braves. 
There weren’t enough players his age to form a team when Lewis started his baseball journey. 
Since then, he's donned uniforms for Gander, Pasadena, Corner Brook and others. 
Not once was he afforded the opportunity to wear the green and gold of his hometown team until the 2019 Baseball NL Junior Provincial Baseball Championships held July 19-20 in St. John’s. 
That weekend he was a Brave again and he couldn’t have been happier. His love for baseball started on the mounds and fields that make up Grand Falls-Windsor baseball. 
“It felt like a nice reunion for me to be back where it all started,” said Lewis. “I’ve pretty much played everywhere.” 
Friday night against Conception Bay South his coaches asked if he wanted the ball. He always does – and he made the most of it. 
It was under the lights at St. Pat’s and Lewis wasn’t going to let someone else take the game from him. 
Able to throw with force, he had what those in baseball call "a game." He gave up three runs, scattered six hits and struck out eight, en route to his first win in a Braves jersey for some time. 
A performance like that makes you think it was meant to be. Lewis was named the tournament’s top pitcher because of it. 
“I remember reflecting on it before the game figuring this could be it,” he said. “Thankfully it all worked out in our favour.” 
Lewis calls Aaron Stacey his catcher. For the last couple of years, they’ve thrown together at the Goodyear Avenue fields during the summer and, in the cold temperatures of February, in open parking lots. 
They’d never thrown together in an official game before. 
It was after one of those frozen parking lot sessions that the two had a conversation about having a junior Braves team – a first in almost a decade, as far as they could tell. 
So, to have Stacey behind the plate for what could be his last start as a Brave was the only way it could go down. 
“It was pretty special knowing that this is what we’ve done for the last two years and finally it's getting all put on the table,” said Stacey. 
Where baseball will take Lewis is anyone’s guess. He is a recent graduate of the junior program and who knows if senior baseball will ever return to Grand Falls-Windsor. 
He’ll have options for sure. Anyone who can throw the ball as hard as he can will always get a look. That is baseball. 
Still, Lewis got another chance to perform for the town he calls home. He got the ball one last time and that is all any pitcher ever wants. 
Just one more game. Just one more batter. 
“I got the chance to play with guys that I have coached ... to be able to bring it back full circle was a really nice way to go out."

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