Once upon a time, a young lad named Little Nicky Punto was walking home through the forest one evening after a particularly grueling game of Little League. Nicky loved baseball more than anything else, and was talking out-loud to himself about that very thing as he walked.
"Boy, I sure do love baseball!" exclaimed Nicky. "I wish I could play baseball forever and be the most awesome player ever."
As fate would have it, his words were overheard. Out of the trees galloped a sparkling and stoic pink ninja, astride a stunningly beautiful, and obviously magical, unicorn.
"Whoa!......Hiya mister!" said a rather stunned Punto to the ninja.
"Um...he doesn't talk," explained the unicorn, who did. "He's a ninja. So, he's totally into being silent and stealthy and whatnot. It's his thing. Just between you and me, it can be a little irritating sometimes."
"Oh. I see," said Nick. "May I ask you what are you doing here?"
The unicorn nodded. "We are the magical duo of Sparkle Ninja and Unicorn. We travel the world using our special mystical powers to grant the wishes of good little boys, just like you. We have heard your wish to be an awesome baseball player forever and ever."
"Really?! Do you think you might be able to grant my wish?" Little Nicky Punto's tiny heart was racing with excitement.
"I think we just might!" The unicorn winked at the boy. "Sparkle Ninja! Show me the magical bag!"
The ninja stealthily grabbed a black velvet out of thin air and allowed the unicorn to peer inside.
"Hmm....yes. I do see some options here. Let's see....."
Nicky Punto was jumping up and down with anticipation.
"You have an important choice to make, Little Nicky Punto. We can either make you an amazing power hitter who can hit home-runs all the time...."
"YES!" exclaimed Nicky.
"Wait, wait, wait," said the unicorn. "OR, you can be a magical third baseman and have the ability to fly!"
"Ooh! I've always wanted to fly!" said Nicky. "Do I still get to hit the home-runs too!?"
"Well.........No," said the unicorn. "Honestly, sometimes you won't really be hitting much of anything at all."
"Oh," said Nicky Punto, looking dejected. "Why would I want to do that, then? I want to be an AWESOME baseball player."
"You will be! You will be an awesome defensive player. And you will almost always be in the starting line-up, because you can fly and do amazing backflips and other magical things! Anyone can just hit home-runs...."
"Nuh uh! Not my friend Jason Tyner! He can't hit home-runs!"
The unicorn made a mental note to make a visit to a little boy named Jason someday. "Well, not yet.......but you're missing the point, Nick. Anyone can just hit home-runs. But how many baseball players can fly?"
"That's true. But I'm still not sure. If I'm not hitting the ball, won't all the fairweather fans, sports columnists, bloggers and talk radio jackasses say mean things about me and hurt my feelings? That wouldn't be fun OR awesome."
The unicorn could see that Little Nicky Punto needed some more convincing. He peered back into the magical bag.
"Well, if you choose to be a flying third baseman, we'll throw in an extra large dose of pheromones for you."
"Fair-o-whats?!" asked Nicky.
"Pheromones. They make you attractive to the opposite sex. So, no matter how badly you're hitting, or how many mean things people are saying about you, any women who come within 100 yards of you will find you inexplicably attractive and irresistible! You will always have dozens of them along the third base line, screaming your name."
"Sold." Little Nicky Punto was young, but he wasn't stupid.
"I thought that might do the trick." And with that, the unicorn nodded to Sparkle Ninja, who reached in the bag and sprinkled Little Nicky Punto with the magical sparkling powder, which was NOT manufactured by BALCO.
Nicky could feel the magic working already, and he was very, very happy.
"Could you make me tall too?!"
"Look, kid. We're just a pink ninja and a talking unicorn. We're not a fairy godmother or anything." And then the unicorn and his ninja galloped away into the sunset.
And that is how Nick Punto came to be.