What do I love about baseball? Everything just doesn’t seem grand enough of a word. There is so much about the game that has been a part of my and really my families life forever. I remember my first glove, a Wilson A2000! Not bad leather for a 5-year old to be flopping around the T-Ball field. I remember watching my older brothers play in college and in their summer leagues.. My brother Stevie getting a shot with the Pirates, my brother Johnny’s dream of possible Red Sox glory dashed a year or so before Tommy John Surgery became the norm. There were my middle brothers who could flat out play too but other things held their interests more. All of them let their baby brother tag along and sometimes play along side them. Its how I got the fever and that carried me to college ball. But we all got it from our dad though…just like a lot of people did. Our father grow up with baseball playing and coaching and in doing so brought the game and the appreciation of it to his sons. We were lucky! There were A LOT of us in Euclid that could say the same thing…Cooperstown might be the Promised Land for baseball but Euclid, Ohio was on the “Road to Damascus!”! Families upon families of Euclidians knew that everything added up to baseball! We were lucky! My guess is that could describe many communities around the country as well…..well except the Euclidian part anyway!
There is nothing…NOTHING in sports that compares to the feeling of connecting with a baseball square …..in fact the best ones there’s no feeling at all! Driving what the pitcher thought was his best pitch right back where it came from.
Being a pitcher (I’ve been told by enough of them) and knowing you are in total control of the game or as much as us catchers would allow them to be anyway.
The release of the ball from behind your ear and throwing a strike to the bag and sending a would be base stealer back to the dugout.
The team work of the infield as a well oiled machine…the outfielder positioning themselves to cut off hits and runners. Its small ball and big bats..its speed and smarts…its playing for a big inning and knowing the winner might be 90 feet away!
The strategy of it all rolled up into a game where the only thing that matters is every inch of dirt, every blade of grass , every pitch , every play…every everything and the only thing that doesn’t matter is time….the game is timeless and its TIMELESS! That’s why its the greatest game ever invented…its challenging, its rewarding, its humbling and euphoric and its never, never ever boring! Its a game that’s passed from generation to generation. It is and always will be our game….played not only in our time but before we came and long after we are gone! Come to think of it “Everything” does describe it pretty well!