Posted by: Trisha Leigh | November 1, 2010

A Case For Baseball

Baseball.

America’s game, or so it’s been for many years. There are those who would argue that football has usurped the throne, but I disagree.

I live in Kansas City, a sad place where October baseball has not visited in many, many moons. In fact, I was six years old the last time the Royals won a World Series. I don’t remember it. I have, however, been an Atlanta Braves fan since I was about eleven so I’ve enjoyed my fair share of playoff dreams, sweaty palms, soaring triumphs and bitter disappointments.

Baseball taught me to respect the purity of sport. It made me laugh until I cried when my sister found out Steve Balboni was bald. Watching it, either live or at home, showed me that patience is rewarded. That just because there’s no tackling, cracking helmets, or plays changing every thirty seconds doesn’t mean intense strategy isn’t taking place. The game gave me one of my first jobs, exposed me to people (and even players) who made me smile and taught me lessons about life. Some good, some bad – all amusing. Baseball also gave me food poisoning once, the only twenty hours in my life that I actually wanted to die. It broke my heart with the player’s strike, with the steroid scandals, and with the flagrant worship of money instead of loyalty that so many players exhibit without a second thought.

Hey, you take the good with the bad.

Baseball bonded me with family; the game runs in our common blood. It gave me hours to spend with my grandfather, time to learn about his past and his reasons for loving the game for sixty-plus years. He passed his love onto me, and if I ever have the chance, you can bet that passion will be handed down to my children for safekeeping.

Baseball is great for so many reasons. It means summer, hot dogs, and overpriced beer. It means excitement, anticipation, stomach-twisting pressure and heartbreaking failures. It represents my past – things like watching Bobby Cox walk off the field for the last time is like losing a bit of my own heart. One of the final links to the team I cheered with my grandfather is gone forever.

Baseball is history. It’s America. It’s family.

It’s love.

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Responses

  1. I love baseball–but only in person. Cannot watch it on TV. I hate how in the view from behind the pitcher, the pitcher looks smaller than the batter. I understand why they do that, but the skewed perspective totally bugs me.

    • Ha, that’s a very specific complaint. It’s better in person, for sure.

  2. Love this.

    Baseball has been overtaken by football. Can’t argue that, but while football inspires passion and excitement in me, it can’t touch the feeling I have at a baseball game. When my White Sox won the series in 05 I saw something I thought I would never see in my lifetime, and there’s no other feeling like it. But it’s also the only sport where sitting through a loss still can feel great, because it was a day at the park.

    I’ve given up caring about whether or not it’s still America’s game. If America has left it behind to some extent, then it’s those people’s loss. It’s still my game.

    • I love the sentiment. I suspect there are more people out there who feel this way than we think.

  3. I love this, and I don’t even watch baseball.

    • Thanks! Maybe you should give it a try… 🙂

  4. I’ve never gotten deeply into sports, but like Linda, I enjoy live games.

    Sweet post.

  5. Great Balboni reference – A true Royals baseball legend. I have to say I would rather be at the park to watch a game in Row 22, Seat A with friends.


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