Finally, after almost a week without baseball, the World Series begins tonight; I for one, look forward to watching every game. Both teams were fun to watch along the playoff trail because they both seemed to want it more than their opponets. The upstart, no name Royals who have waited for 29 years to be in this position, versus the returning, seasoned Giants. It should be a fun World Series.
Pictured above is my wife last year at a Met/Marlins game in Miami wearing her supportive earrings for her son’s favored team. We tried to go to a few games every year, whether they were major league caliber or Triple-A, it didn’t matter. We loved to settle in to the rhythm of the game on a beautiful day and share with the people around us the action on the field. It is also the only situation where I could eat a hot dog or two without getting “you shouldn’t be doing that” looks from my bride. Over the long term, we both rallied around different teams, the Yankees for me, the Red Sox for her, but the games did not have to always feature one or the other’s favorite to be enjoyable. We just loved baseball, and would try to catch a game in any city we were visiting during a season.
I discovered recently an article published in 2013 called “The Beauty of Baseball” that comes very close to expressing the exact feelings I currently have about the game. Below is the pertinent excerpt and to me, it pretty much says it all for me at this moment in time.
“Some silly fools call baseball’s season too long, the day-to-day grind too much to keep up with. We’ll leave them to enjoy their once-a-week football contests, three hours of pent-up fury unleashed on the gridiron. Or their sporadic basketball and hockey schedules, about as comprehensible as string theory.
Me, I’ll take baseball, its metronome-like consistency a comforting, reliable presence, sometimes at the forefront of our attention, other times as an aside while we’re working on the car, fishing, or playing catch with our children.
And as nice as it is to have baseball during the mundane times of our existence, it can be even more important during the tough stretches. Of course, there’s the clichéd situation of a father and son having nothing but baseball to talk about during the latter’s coming of age, which is a cliché only because it’s so often true.
But it’s during the even more challenging times, such as the loss of a loved one when personal experience proves that our national pastime can be a familial balm, soothing our troubles ever so slightly during such a difficult period.
No, the game doesn’t make the pain go away, but it provides a distraction, a focus other than our difficulties when they prove too much to bear. The feeling may be fleeting, but watching a pitcher-batter confrontation or listening to a friendly, familiar voice describe a deep, arching home run can provide a brief escape, which may be just what we need to get by at that moment.
For many of us, life without baseball is nearly unimaginable, its existence so interwoven with our own, from our first game as a child to the moment we finally realized it was time to hang up our cleats for good, and during the times in between and beyond.
As in life, there is give and take, victory and loss, wonder and disappointment. In some small way, baseball is a reflection of our existence. However, there is comfort in knowing that whatever other changes we encounter, the game is sure to go on. And in that, we hope, we can find a glimmer of reassurance.”
First pitch is scheduled at 8:07 PM EST…I can’t wait and may the best team win.