Monday, May 12, 2014


“There are three types of baseball players: Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and those who wonder what happens.”
-Tommy Lasorda

My pal had to remind me that there’s no crying in baseball when I admitted to him that I get choked up at every 7th inning stretch while singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”. Maybe it’s the nostalgia that song inspires, of going to games with my dad since I was a kid, or ghosts I can feel in some stadiums, or remembering living in New York where baseball is so alive it’s like a being unto itself. Perhaps it’s simply what is stated in Field Of Dreams, reminding me of all that once was good and thinking it could be again… The simplicity and joy that a hot dog and beer bring me is unequivocable. The feeling of the crowd rising to its feet when the ball is hit deep moves me.
My two best friends like to provoke me by saying that “nobody cares about baseball”. (They are both wonderful women, but in this case I feel sorry for them.)  I wish I liked hockey or basketball more. I can see wherein the excitement lay in those sports, how quick they are and how the last 5 minutes of each of those games- regardless of how bleak your team’s score may be- feels like the most exciting 5 minutes of your life. You’d think that would be my jam considering how much I love to live on the edge.
Baseball is a constant metaphor for life, and I learn best by example. Thus my love for metaphors & clichés. “Stepping up to the plate, swing for the fences, knock it out of the park”… these are all truisms of fuel for my ambition.
Baseball is about passion. It’s about stepping up to the plate, staring down the pitcher, connecting with the ball, running the bases, sliding and stretching into the bag as you grab it like your life depended on it because it does. It’s about trying to smack the ball whether that ball is fast & straight or slow & curvy. It’s about calculation & deliberation combined with intuition & risk. It’s about knowing when to run or staying put.
This past winter was long and dark for me, in every aspect. Ironically upon the return of the boys of summer, literally everything in my life started to turn around. The strings of everything weighing me down like sandbags have been cut & I feel like I’m finally able to fly again.
Tonight I’m going to the ball game. The Jays are playing the Angles. At the game I will remember going to games in Anaheim (even though I preferred going to games at Chavez Ravine). That will lead me to think of all the great friends & times I had while living there. Then I’ll look around at the friends whom I’ll be sitting with tonight, & feel lucky that I made it here, back to my home team. I’ll get up & sing the 7th inning stretch, I’ll become emotional, I’ll laugh, I’ll eat a hot dog, I’ll look for a kid that’s not a brat to give the ball to if I caught one, & I’ll love every second of it if we win & be heartbroken if we lose. I’ll wear my Jays shirt & ball-cap & I’ll cheer to my heart’s content. I’ll text my dad & we’ll compare thoughts about the game. I’ll curse the Rogers Center for not having better cell reception. And all of the while it will remind me how great it feels to be at the ballpark, with all of the smells, sounds & feelings that I love so much about life.


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