Though you might not guess it from my Pink Frenchie exterior, I LOVE baseball. I love that the season lasts from Easter to Halloween. I LOVE listening to baseball radio. I love talking ERAs and RBIs and OBPs.
My interest in baseball is not lifelong, nor inherited. While my grandfather has always watched the Cardinals with pride, baseball obsession must skip a generation because my parents aren't as outwardly taken by this sport---a game every year or so, certainly; but, they don't seem quite as consumed by the game as I am.
This love for baseball grew proportionally to my love for my hubby. While dear husband has always watched his team the Anaheim Angels, we started watching games together, not long after we started dating. Along the way, I learned the game. I studied stats and spring training reports. Just as I learned the difference between a breaking ball and a curve ball, baseball games became our preferred date night pastime.
So, why? What's the thrill of watching four or five games a week, each of which clocks in at around 3 hours? I suppose I am captivated by all of the history and Americana that comes with baseball. Can you feel more American than when you're singing the National Anthem at a ball game or when you hear the crack of the wooden bat as you nose dive into a chili dog?
For me, baseball is a true little pleasure. I find such joy in watching a team evolve from April to (hopefully) the pennant race in October. Of course, with as with all sports (except perhaps for the Catholic cardinals soccer league), there will be money-hungry egomaniacs. But, if you followed sports news at all last week, you may have heard of another reminder that baseball still does have a few good guys left.
Last Tuesday, in the final innings of what would be a perfect game, Detroit Lions pitcher Armando Gallaraga witnessed a first base umpire make an incorrect call about an incoming Cleveland Indians' base runner. Replays show Gallaraga's face change from unbridled glee at the thought of completing a perfect game to sheer disappointment at the call. But, what proved the pitcher was a class act was his response. Rather than kicking and screaming and cursing, the pitcher simply accepted the ump's call and acted like a gentleman. After all, as Tom Hanks reminded us in A League of Their Own, there's no crying in baseball.
Images borrowed from CountryLiving, Stusview & Etanu.