Baseball is back! We’re well into the season already and it’s a wonderful thing. I meant to post something about this earlier in the season, but I just didn’t get around to it. So here it goes. My one of maybe other baseball posts as the year goes on.
I love baseball. It’s a funny thing to me. It’s my real first sports love. Maybe I know the NFL and the goings on in Football more these days, but when it comes back to it all, it’s the feel, the sounds, and baseball that I would end up saying is my favorite sport. No contest.
Baseball started early for me. Probably the first thing my dad and I bonded over was baseball. He and I, now that we’re older, have more to talk about, but when I was a kid I was drawn to computers, videogames and books. But one thing we always loved was watching an Oakland A’s game together or playing catch or practicing for my little league games. This was my start with the game.
It’s a funny thing this baseball. It’s impossible to try and explain the rules to someone who doesn’t know. I remember seeing a minor league game with some friends of the family who were from England. It was as impossible to explain to them as cricket is to explain to us. The weird nuances, the terminology that just becomes second nature to you as a kid because you play it and are surrounded by it. This is baseball!
It’s the years I spent playing it as a kid in little league. You always had the kids who’s parents forced them to play, and the kids who were more gifted with athletic abilities. Me? I was in the middle. I loved to play, but was in no way gifted with natural athletic prowess. I played for many years, but it was entering those High School years that left me behind. I was okay at the game, but never great enough to play on the high school team. Other school sports called me.
It’s all the major league games I remember going to as a kid. The tailgates. The vendors calling out “Cold beer here! Peanuuuuutttssss!” The cheers of the crowd. The joy of rising out of your seat after the crack of a well hit ball, and the hope of it being a home run for your team! The hope, every time you go, of catching a foul ball. (only once in all my years of games have I gotten one and that may be it for my lifetime! I hope not.) The food. The hot summer days. The little fold down seats. It’s heaven.
But here’s in the end what I’m trying to get at. I love baseball. I love the feel of the game. I love the pace of the game. I love the sounds of the game. I love seeing all levels of the game being played. From the little league game to the Mariner’s (who seem to have an aversion to winning these days). I don’t mind the long games. The games where no one is scoring because the pitchers are really on fire. The games where the score is more like a football game. It’s all great.
It, to me, is the only major American sport that is suited to listening to on the radio if you can’t be there or watch it on the TV. Maybe it’s the years I’ve watched and played the game, but the pace of the game, and the simplicity of where the ball can go on any given play lends itself well to play by play, and I never mind hearing a game as I can always picture it in my head so easily.
So here’s to the Spring and Summer, when I get my baseball fix in. When I get to a Mariner’s or a Tacoma Rainier’s game as often as I can. Where even if I’m not sitting and watching the game, I love to hear it in the background in the evening while I make dinner, clean the house or play with my son. Here’s to the game itself. Even if my local team isn’t winning all the time. I’m still a fan. I’ll be there. I may throw my hand up in frustration in another loss, but I’ll be back the next day with the hope of a win, and if nothing else the good feelings of the game.