Dispatches: On Deck, Baseball
It’s that time of year again…finally.
We’ve shrugged off the long Winter and head brightly into Spring.
April is one of my favorite months for a number of reasons. Growing up in upstate Pennsylvania, while you may get that stray “April snowstorm” (I remember one of my Little League practices being cancelled because of one), it’s generally the time the days get warmer, even if the field stays muddy.
It’s also my birthday month. And now I like it even more because it’s my first born’s birthday month.
It’s also the month that the baseball season starts…
I know, I know…in the time of iPods, iPads, xBoxes, WWE, MMA, other fast-action sports, baseball continue to have its critics.
It’s too boring…there’s not enough action…it’s too long…
I get all that. And, sometimes, yes, maybe it’s true.
But maybe it’s also the sport we need now to just enjoy ourselves again. Not everything has to be a high-octane, pulse-pounding, insane in the membrane event.
Sometimes, the quietness of a ballgame on TV or the radio – or, yes, an iPad or laptop – is a good thing.
To me, there’s just something comforting about knowing that baseball will be a constant for the next seven months. Baseball…my team, the Philadelphia Phillies in particular, but any game really, is the soundtrack to my summer, the background noise in my life from now till nearly Thanksgiving.
It smooths out my car rides home from work, gives me something to watch every night (to the chagrin of my wife), and keeps at its evolving storyline from week to week, month to month, inning to inning.
And in, person, the game is even better.
I don’t get to games in person as much as I may like to, but maybe that’s a good thing. When I do, it’s still special. The magic is still there for me.
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of heading south on I-295 to Philly with Olivia to see her very first baseball game. It was her 5th birthday; I think I saw my first game, in Philadelphia, when I was five as well. Talk about an honor for me.
She took her pink Phillies cap (which we accidentally left in the car), and her coat and her smile. And together, off we went to the Big City to see our Favorite Team.
It was called the On-Deck Series, two exhibition games and upper-level tickets were just a buck (I paid more than that to get them in the silent auction for her school a few weeks ago). She didn’t know that, didn’t care. Was just excited to go to see baseball with her daddy.
I’m sure the promise of hot dogs, popcorn and ice cream added to her excitement as well. But she enjoyed herself – she put her hand over her heart during the National Anthem, and cheered in all the right places. Her head was on a swivel taking it all in.
That’s the beauty of baseball, to me. You can be in the big yard….
Or the back sandlot…
It’s all the same game – throw the ball, hit the ball, catch the ball, run, slide…smile
Baseball is back.
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