To my international audience, bear with me because today is Opening Day in Cincinnati. Typically, a day like no other anywhere, but COVID has a way of changing things. My hope is that 2022 will mark the return of a wonderful tradition. Nonetheless, the game will go on – the season will start – and baseball fans everywhere hold that special hope. Today’s beach walk must focus on baseball.
Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.
I like walking on the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
I think about the national past-time – the grand ole game of baseball. The game today remains the same game as the past with a few exceptions.
Yes, baseball – that mathematical ballet played on a green diamond found in a variety of geometric shapes.
Baseball – from the first glove, throwing a ball against a wall to practice fielding to playing catch with Dad in the yard. To sandlots, stickball in the alley, Wiffleball games at the make-believe stadium to little league – baseball is part of the fabric of many youth.
Baseball – a game with the subtleties of a wink or a fine wine – the strategies of chess – the textures of a well-crafted crust of an apple pie.
Baseball – the game without a clock – which is contradictory to the hectic nature of today’s everyday life – a life requiring time management and electronic calendars. Life may be rushed, but baseball isn’t.
Baseball – a game that is more subtle than obvious. A game with a ball controlled by the defense; but hitting the ball causes each defender to move to a place of calculated efficiency in order to prevent something from happening. Yes – baseball is chess on grass.
Baseball – a game of definiteness – win or lose – ball or strike – safe or out – fair or foul – success or failure – most of which an independent arbiter decides.
To some, baseball is a kids game played by men – but to me, baseball is a man’s game kids play as they dream of becoming a summer icon.
To its loyal fans, baseball is a game of hope designed to break one’s heart – yet the same hope acts as restoration because tomorrow is a new day and the chance to make amends.
Baseball – played on heavenly green cathedrals for the loving souls. From the fan’s and player’s perspective, yes – truly a field of dreams. Not the one beside the cornfield, but the ones with the highly manicured brilliant green grass. Every fan remembers the first time their eyes saw major league grass – the green that forever sticks to one’s soul. Mine was Crosley Field in Cincinnati – Reds vs. Giants in the mid 1960s. Yes, my Reds won that night.
Baseball – the batters, fielders, and pitchers – each given ample opportunities to gather statistics for baseball cards, trivia buffs, and modern day analytics – the game and numbers are a perfect match.
Baseball – from first dates, proposals, Crash and Annie, Joe and Marilyn, Roy and Iris, baseball is linked to romance.
From Field of Dreams, League of Their Own, The Rookie, Bull Durham, Eight Men Out, Bad News Bears, and It Happens Every Spring – there is no crying in baseball – not even from Mighty Casey and the Mudville 9.
Baseball – a game of anticipation, but with anticipation comes waiting. To me, the young focus on anticipation, but as we age, there is a shift to waiting – yet, baseball provides both.
Baseball – a game filled with artistry – the fluidity of a 6-4-3 double play – the athleticism of an outfielder leaping to catch the ball before clearing the wall for a home run – a catch that delivers relief to some, but heartache to others.
Baseball – the masterfully pitched game that befuddles batters is a work of a master craftsman – a brilliant painter. A few of the best hitters are professional batsmen – those who actually fail 2 out of 3 times is pure music.
Baseball – whose exclusion of Blacks spawned the Negro Leagues – and whose inclusion closed them – yet, let us not forget Moses Fleetwood Walker, the one who was Jackie before Jackie.
Baseball – From bigots to drugs to cheat and gamblers on the road to shame or fame, the game that mirrors society. It’s segregated past broken by Jackie Robinson 17 years before Congress passed the Civil Rights Act.
Baseball – a game and a business. Greedy owners and players wanting more is nothing new – actually, close to the age of the professional game. That happens in business – yet today, players act in accordance with their own business decisions. Sadly, the days of a distinguished career in one uniform are slim – but not out.
Baseball – a game that challenges our patience, something that walking the beach does not do. But I like walking on the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
See what other bloggers have written about baseball
- Patience, Time (… and Baseball) (a personal essay)
- Baseball … Batter Up (a personal essay)
- The Meaning of Substance (an essay by a visitor here)
- Becoming a Baseball Fan in the 1950s (an essay)
- In Shaping It’s Future, Baseball must not Forget It’s Past (an essay)
Next Post: Senses – Saturday 3 April @ 1 AM (Eastern US)
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