"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Baseball

I am fully aware that much of this country is madly, wildly, insatiably in love with the game of football. I am not wild about football and don't like to watch it for more than about twenty minutes.  That's just the way I am. What I do like to watch is the good old national past time from way back, baseball. Lots of people tell me they don't like to watch baseball because everything happens so slowly, but maybe that is one of the reasons I like it.  
        I like it that you can see the players' faces and that they don't smash into each other every eight seconds and that, usually, they don't have to bring in the guys with the stretcher and haul someone off the field to see if he has a broken neck, a skull fracture or just a dislocated shoulder. I like the sound of the ball hitting the wooden bat and sailing high up into the bright lights. The one thing I do not like about watching baseball is all the spitting. The spitting is completely out of control but, hey, I'll avert my eyes.
     Yes, sometimes people get nailed in the back with a pitch or they slide into second and twist their ankle but usually they wait for the pitch, watch where the ball is headed and where all the runners are and try to fire the ball around the field fast enough to tag someone out.  I love the shift, when players move to cover different positions once someone is out of pocket; I love how they back each other up on tough plays; I like it that there aren't cheerleaders or pom squads or marching bands involved; I love it when they show the plays in slow motion on TV and it looks like ballet as the infield players catch, turn and throw the ball in two seconds time.  It's baseball.
     Mostly I like it because I grew up watching the World Series with my dad every October. I can remember thinking, when I was in Jr. High, that the World Series was when the Yankees played someone every night for a week. I guess that was pretty close.
        My dad grew up with baseball. His father was a great athlete and played shortstop on pick up teams all around the area in the thirties and forties. I guess he was amazingly quick and strong, judging by the accolades about his ball playing that were written into his obituary when he died, which was before I was even born so I have no memories of him that are my own. Danny played baseball too, in high school, and apparently was a great second baseman. He used to tell me wonderful stories about their games and the camaraderie of  the guys on his team, funny stories about good times shared by young men.  Being so good at second base was the only thing I ever heard Danny brag about, even though he said he hated games (yeah, right).
       Last night Able and I settled into the den with Dad and watched game seven of this year's Series,
the St. Louis Cardinals vs. the Texas Rangers. The game was great, the company was great, and the Cardinals won (Thanks be to God). The entire series was a win/win for Dad however, because the Cardinals and the Rangers are his two favorite teams. He clapped and cheered for both teams all week.


  I suppose baseball reminds Dad of his dad; it brings memories of him into the room. I like it because Dad knows all kinds of interesting details about all the players and explains the odd, seldom heard of rules about the super fancy plays and because he is so excited while he watches.  There is always quite a bit of laughing and knee slapping that goes on during a baseball game, and when you're watching the Cardinals play, you have the added bonus, once in awhile, of getting to see the Budweiser Clydesdales come pounding out, huge,  glossy, meticulously groomed, matching horses in shining harness lifting their knees to the music while their white legs flash in unison. Ah, The Ponies!  There's nothing like it. See for yourself.


2 comments:

Audra said...

Mom you forgot another fun part of being a Cardinals fan, well besides being world series champions, the Rally Squirrel. How fun was that!!!

Debra Dotter Blakley said...

Oh yeah, the rally Squirrel, a new tradition for the Cards fans. May it live long and proper.