For Love of the Game

Pitchers and catchers have reported, position players are due next week! Hooray, it’s the first real sign of spring, and I’m doing’ a little dance!

Now, I know a lot of women (and even some men) don’t dig baseball, and talk about how boring it is, and how slow it is, and all that nonsense. Good for you, stop reading right now.

I love baseball. I love the gentle rhythms of time passing, I love the geometry of the field, I love the interplay of the red clay and the impossibly green grass, I love the crack of hardwood smacking leather, I love the sound of Vin Scully or John Miller quietly in the background as I lay around on a hot summer night, I love watching my kids try and smack the ball off a Tee in our backyard, I love the smell and sounds of a minor league ballpark in late summer. I love the timing, the history, the box scores that never change…I love baseball.

This is something that I was steeped in from girlhood. While I never played myself, my family is a baseball family. A hardcore baseball family. My brothers cut their teeth on their leather gloves, and we never had to go to school on Opening Day. Never. My dad still lovingly maintains the local Little League diamond, even though my youngest brother is 22. And you have never seen a prettier diamond, well groomed, clayed, fenced, watered…loved. My step-dad is an umpire for little and junior leagues, and he never even had any kids of his own- just loves baseball. My brother went to an excellent college he never could have gone to without baseball, and will now coach high school when he starts teaching. Baseball was on the TV in my LDR room when I gave birth to both of my sons- And will likely be on when this newest little girl arrives.

Baseball is best enjoyed live- it does loose something in translation on TV, but still, I will take it any way I can. There is nothing like walking through the cool, shady tunnels of PacBell Park, only to turn and walk out into the bright sunshine and blue sky, squinting to get a look around, surrounded by beautiful sky, the pristine Bay, and a picturesque skyline. Welcome, spring!

12 thoughts on “For Love of the Game

  1. I was really into baseball when Ken Griffey was with the Mariners and they were starting to get good. But I got sort of disillusioned with it when I realized the teams with the biggest budgets (that could afford the few prime pitchers) would always win.

    I love minor league games though, those are really fun.

  2. Ok, lets get it right, it is now AT&T Ballpark. Yes, yet another name change. I know it’s hard to keep up, with 3 name changes in 6 years. But try will ya!

  3. As a lifelong Yankee fan, raised in NY, I too love baseball. Wahoo!

    And yes, I am a true Yankee fan, one of the ones who hung in through all those suckfest years of the 80s and early 90s. And Mattingly is still my favorite!

  4. I love Safeco field, all the different smells and people in one place due to the love of one thing..The Mariners baby!!! Where else can you find sushi, Ivar’s clam chowder, and garlic fries for sale in the same place? When you’re at the ball game it’s like everyone there is family. You can strike up a conversation with anyone and be instant friends. I surprised Dh with an anniversary package at the game last year. Nothing like seeing your names on the JumboTron to bring a little passion back into your marriage.
    I think I love baseball on TV now because it brings back memories of the sounds and smells of the ballpark. The game is good too….
    I’m so excited!!!!

  5. I LOVE baseball too! I have such good memories of me and my dad going to Jack Murphy stadium (before it became Qualcomm–now we have Petco) to watch the Padres. They were never very good, but my dad infused the love of the GAME in me. The year they won the penant and went to the World Series (’98)was a dream come true for me and him. I can’t wait for this season either!

  6. I anxiously await the day my 2 sons play sports (if they choose, I guess). I miss going to the Little League games my 3 brothers played!

  7. I was raised with the Braves. I was never lucky enough to live close enough to go often to the games. I do remember going to see the Braves vs. Giants and LOVE was immenent. I now have a soft part in my heart for the Braves and anytime, regardless of who the home team is, I will always always root for them. Baseball on tv though is not my favorite. It is definitely an in stadium game for full enjoyment.

  8. I could almost taste the saltiness of the peanuts and sunflower seeds as I read your post.

    Some of the best baseball I remember is watching the summer leagues where the college players don’t get paid so they keep thier eligiblity but they use wood bats so there is no ping of the aluminum.

    I also remember vividly when the Mariners went from turf to grass. Much better!

  9. Tracy,

    I go to baseball games just to eat the garlic fries. The coldest I have ever been was when I was at a Giants game on the 4th of July at Candlestick. SO COLD!!!!!!! I love PacBell too (it will also stay that name for me too). It is such a beautiful park. My husbands office is right next door so we go occasionally.

    Ahhh Garlic Fries.

    You MUST be from the Bay Area? You know too much about it. First the Jasmine bushes, now this….

  10. Bek-

    Yup, Sunnyvale. My whole family still lives there. I used to work in Palo Alto until my first was born, and I stopped working. We ended up in Washington because it was impossible for us to buy a house anywhere inside of a four-hour commute. It’s been a mixed blessing. Sometimes I get SO homesick.

  11. WHAT? I lived just spitting distance from Sunnyvale!! We used to live right off Arastradero and El Camino. We moved to Menlo Park a few months ago because we needed another bedroom in order to get licenced for our last adoption, but want to get back to PA ASAP. I would love to live in Mt. View too. Menlo Park is too white and old for us!!

    We also live in a glorified card board box that costs at least 5 times what my parents home cost…but my dh’s job is here so we aren’t going anywhere! We moved from NYC, so the price is the same, but we get better weather (until this week!!!).

    THAT is why I like you so much!!! You wouldn’t be homesick this week. It is COLD!!! For us anyway…Ahhhh.

  12. MP is a little stiff and stodgy, but man if you’ve got a house there, you’ve got a gold mine!

    I know about the housing prices! We had a cardboard box in SV that sold for 8 times what our 5 br in WA cost us. Too bad we only rented it!

    PA and SV have the very best parks anywhere, and I miss them terribly. Rinconada, Embarcadero, the duck pond out by the muni airport, Las Palmas, Shoup in Los Altos (the best creek for the kids to play in…)*sigh*

    I guess I’ll go look outside at our 12 degree backyard that we cannot even play in!~

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