Monday, March 31, 2014

a note on baseball

Happy Opening Day!

I'll admit it, I have a soft spot for sports. It pulls at my heartstrings like few other things can. I'm a sucker for the underdog, the comeback kid, an improbable team. I love feeling the elation of a big win, and I hate seeing the devastation of a tough loss. This image from the NCAA tournament nearly broke my heart. I have no vested interest in Arizona State or this basketball team, but it still hurt.

I may or may not have gotten all teary watching this E:60 special on the 23 pitchers that have thrown a perfect game - and that's for the ones that achieved it. I darn near lost it for the ones that came *this* close. Come to think of it, I get teary during most episodes of E:60. I just can't help it.

Football is great. It will always be my first love. But when spring rolls around, give me baseball. The hot dogs. The superstitions. The mystery. The chess match. The steals. The pitchers' duels. The home runs. The extra innings. The small ball. The smell of the grass. The old school socks. The unwritten rules of the game. The signs. The stealing of signs. If you think baseball is slow, we're probably not watching the same game.

It's why I get so excited for opening day. Today is the start of 162 opportunities to pull at my heart strings, and 162 opportunities to do it all over again the next day. That's far more than any other sport can offer. It's a unique experience, and if you're a baseball fan, you know this roller coaster is unlike anything else.

So because it's opening day, and I get all sentimental around this time of year, here is my favorite baseball moment. Even knowing how it would end the next night, I'd still do it all over again. Because that's baseball. As the great Boswell put it, "If half of your life is richer than the other half but you don't know quite why, you're probably a baseball fan."


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