May 12, 2006

Baseball, I Love It.
BY jim kittelberger

Here comes the pitch, he swings, and oh my he hit it high and deep, its outta here, and the Indians win it in the bottom of the ninth. How about that!

If those words don't give you a thrill, then you're not a baseball fan and I can't imagine why you're not. From the time I was a small boy, I have loved this game. H/R/RBI/ERA/BB/K/HR/E/BA/W/L. This is the alphabet of the game. These are the indicators of success or failure for the practitioners of the game. It's money in the bank for those talented ones who have good numbers and a ticket out of town for those that don't. A boy may have a problem with his algebra but he will have no problem with the statistics of baseball.

There is not a boy that does not remember his first time in a major league ballpark. The bigness of it, the first hot dog, the memorabilia, the walk up the ramp and then that first sight of the field that you knew only in your dreams and imagination, the sight that fills your senses. It is so green; so beautiful; the bases and foul lines are so white; the scoreboard so big; the seats so red or green. Then the heart starts pumping, because there on that beautiful field is a person who is so much bigger than real life, someone you have idolized, someone you would like to be, someone who does heroic things, who stirs your soul, is right there in front of you.

These pictures and feelings will remain with you always, as real fifty years from now as if they were yesterday. Baseball is a game that is a great leveler. Bigness does not mean greatness. A small man can be the hero and slay dragons. Skill is the element that raises these men above all others. Can you imagine standing 60 feet from someone and he throws a round, hard object at you at speeds up to 95 mph and you are expected to hit it with a 34 ounce piece of wood, and sometimes that hard object curves or dips before it gets to you. Being able to throw it that fast or being able to hit it. That takes skill that only very few people have.

How can you not love a game where the rules have hardly changed a whit since its inception? It's the law of life in pinstripes. If you have the God given talent, follow the rules and master the game you can be the idol of boys from all over the world. It is order, it is precise, and it is beautiful.

Baseball has become big in the movie business. The Natural, Major League, Field of Dreams, Beat the Drum Slowly, these have all been good moneymakers for Hollywood. What do they have in common? Average guys becoming big guys through baseball, and isn't that every boys dream. If you have the skill, can learn the rules and play within those rules you can achieve your dreams. Not a bad thing to teach kids.

So the next time you're feeling beat and your job is wearing you down, grab a coke and hit your favorite chair, turn on the baseball game and try to remember what it was like the first time you went in that stadium and enjoy.

No comments: