It was only after Allister grew a few years, that he began to notice that people looked at him and Robby differently. The official day of reckoning came when Allister and Robby decided to take part in the local stick ball game with the other children of their age. This recognition of their treatment came not in the form of jeers and slander, but instead in misunderstanding. Robby had thought he would play in the infield, shortstop and first base being his strongest positions whilst he played nine innings in his wooden mind. Allister agreed and assumed the other kids would feel the same This, they found, was not the case. A young scamp, called Tread, demanded that Robby be used as the stick part of stickball. Allister countered the demand by saying that it was all too obvious. That if they gave Robby a chance, they would see. Tread refused.
Allister and Robby wanted to play and, so, relented. Such is the pull to fit in.
Robby let Allister pick him up and when Tread threw an unexpected curve ball toward Allister, he swung Robby and connected wood to ball, sending it soaring. The ball was instantly lost in speed and the only measurement to how far the ball traveled was the amount of window panes that continued to break until early that same evening. Tread and the other boys could not contain their flabbergastion. Jaws dropped. Eyelids closed and opened in the blinking pattern that occurs when you see something you just can not believe.
Allister could not help but smile. He knew that this would cement Robby forever to the position of stick. But, the excitement that he felt when the shockwaves of ball to stick traveled through his arms and into his body beamed in him. Robby looked downtrodden. This could not be denied. When the other boys surrounded Allister and lifted him high above their shoulders, Allister tried in vane to deflect the praise towards Robby, who laid on the ground nursing a wooden headache. These words were lost in the ruckus. Allister being raised as high as the children's arms could reach toward heaven where the greats of the game stretched their arms down in attempts to touch fingertips to Allister's.
Tread was the first to name Allister the most valuable player of the game. And, it was at this point that all around first realized that a game had not been played to begin with. It was merely a practice pitch and now the ball was gone forever. The boys brought Allister back down to the ground. Tread called the game off, told everyone to get a good night's sleep and that they would have a new ball tomorrow. He shook Allister's hand, welcomed him to the team, and said, "See ya tomorrow, kid." Allister answered, "Thanks, but I do not think we will be back." Once again, Tread's flabbergastion got the better of him. It is said that, long after Allister picked up his wooden friend, Tread could still be seen standing in the same place, jaw to the ground and eyelids blinking, unable to understand what just occurred.
From then on, the only time Allister and Robby ever played stickball was in Allister's backyard. In these games Robby only played shortstop or first base. This was the only rule. And once Allister received the proper training and the proper funds, it was his own hands that removed Robby's bristles and affixed the shovel blade.