Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Baseball and Why It's So Awesome

I grew up the third daughter of a man who loves sports (football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer...), and to say that it rubbed off on me is an understatement. I have memories of running outside on Saturday afternoons to update my dad, who was doing yardwork, on the score of the Saturday afternoon baseball game. When. I. Was. Four.

And the Saturday afternoon baseball game was the only game on television. (Some of you may not realize how hard it was to follow your team back then, before cable and satellite tv, especially if your favorite team was in a different state. We had to make do with reading the box scores in the next day's newspaper. I know. Crazy.) I sometimes think that my father moved us to the Dallas area after retiring from the Air Force, just so he could listen to the Rangers game on the radio every night.

Without a doubt, baseball is my favorite sport. Maybe because I played it myself growing up (not softball, although that's okay too). I practically lived in my Twins cap. First thing I put on in the morning; last thing I took off at night. I remember early one Saturday morning a neighbor came over. I was wearing pajamas, my robe, and my cap. He said, "You really do wear that all of the time." Yup. Sure did.

I still have my cap. The yellow T has faded, the elastic is worn, and it's a pretty sad sight. But I know it's mine (my sisters played on the same team) because it still has my name on the inside.

Here's why baseball is my favorite sport:
  1. No better way to spend an afternoon than at a ballpark with a beer and a hotdog.

  2. The sound of a baseball hitting a wooden! bat on the sweet spot and knowing the ball is a homerun.

  3. Watching that homerun leave the yard in person is an awesome sight.

  4. There's no clock in baseball -- a game is 9 innings long and can last 2 hours or 4 hours.

  5. It's all about the numbers -- 9 players play 9 innings; 3 strikes and you're out; 4 balls and you get first base; 3 outs and the other team gets to bat.

  6. Every player can be referred to, numerically, three different ways: their uniform number, their place in the batting order, and their position on the field. So Josh Hamilton, wearing uniform #32, bats 4th, and plays centerfield (8). See, it is all about the numbers.

  7. Baseball's been played since the 1870s. My grandfather, who was born in 1899, played baseball.

  8. The managers and coaches wear the same uniform as the players.

  9. The uniform includes a belt which, when you think about it, looks oddly formal.

  10. "SALTALAMACCHIA" makes a rainbow when it's on the back of a uniform. And that makes me smile every time.

  11. You never know what you'll see during a game -- a perfect game, a triple play, a walk-off hit-by-pitch courtesy of Mariano Rivera.

  12. Every ballpark is different. There's the Green Monster in Boston, the flagpole hill in Houston, the ivy in Chicago, and McCovey's Cove in San Francisco.

  13. Somewhere, for every single major league game that has ever been played, there is a scoresheet. By studying the scoresheet, you can read exactly what happened to each batter as he came up to face the pitcher.

  14. It took 50 years but the Texas Rangers have finally, finally, made it to the World Series.

  15. And they beat the Yankees to win the American League pennant!

This is dedicated to my father, my grandfather, and every die-hard Texas Rangers fan who waited 50 years. And I hereby predict that Josh Hamilton will hit 2 homeruns into McCovey's Cove. At least.

1 comment:

TamsJewelry said...

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