For those of you that know me the topic of baseball is fitting for my first post. I didn’t plan it, no really I didn’t. But I do still think baseball is America’s favorite pastime.
The Greatest Game
You catch the ball, throw the ball, hit the ball and run the bases. This pretty much sums up the sport of baseball. And though that seemed too easy, baseball is anything but easy. Though, unlike other sports it can be played by mere mortals which is in stark contrast to the NBA’s otherworldly male specimens and the NFL’s monsters of the gridiron. And therein lies the allure; because for millions of boys around the globe baseball is not just a sport but a game that is to be played – and won.
Further, baseball has toys and boys love toys. Yes basketball has the ball and football the same but baseball has more than just the ball at the core of its existence. Baseball has the glove. Yes the glove which is a poem unto itself. The glove has curves, webbing, bumps, strings and a distinct rawhide smell that reminds men they were once boys and boys they are yet still.
Then there’s the bat which for a young boy might as well be his sword in the midst of battle. Yes boys usually get yelled at for destroying things but not in baseball. Unlike at any other time in a young boy’s life he gets to crush that white pill with impunity. The harder he hits it the further it goes the longer he runs and the louder the crowd cheers him around the bases. And oh the cheers, the sweet sweet cheers heard from strangers, teammates, friends and family. Nothing like it I tell ya, nothing like it.
All other major sports are played on a rectangular field from football and basketball to tennis and soccer but not baseball. No baseball is unique in that it’s played on a diamond shaped field. Moreover each field has its own dimensions which makes it unique unto itself. And unlike any other sport one of the most excited objects of the game is to hit the ball as far beyond the playing surface as humanly possible.
There’s no end to a baseball field, it’s eternal. The ball can keep going and going and going; the only thing stopping it is the measure of power generated by the ligaments and tendons sewn to the muscle that propelled it forward in the first place.
If I asked you to name the oldest player from any american sport no doubt the first name that would pop into your mind would be Babe Ruth. Baseball has heroes by the bunches, some liked some not liked but all loved for their contribution to the game. Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornby, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gherig, Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Willie Stargel, Pete Rose, Nolan Ryan, Carleton Fisk, Tony Gwynn (My Hero). Shall I continue? I think you get the picture.
- America and baseball have been joined for over 150 years
- The hot dog
- The announcers ie. Red Barber, Vin Scully, Harry Caray to name a few
- Baseball trading cards
- Seventh inning stretch
- Take Me Out To The Ballgame (No other sport has its own song, geesh.)
- Baseball reaches from the Caribbean to Asia and back again (Case in point: Boston Red Sox Closer Koji Ueharas)
- Let’s face it, I could go on and on
America’s Favorite Pastime
Yes, baseball is america’s favorite pastime because it’s uniquely beloved by the american spectator. From popcorn and Cracker Jack’s to a boy’s first game with his dad. From the roar of the crowd as they watch the ball soar over the fence for the game winning home run to the groan of a called third strike. From the collision at home plate to a swing and a miss; it’s just baseball and there’s no other sport like it!
Let’s Get Personal
In honor of the game of baseball let’s share our favorite baseball story whether it’s as a player or spectator – or both. I’ll get us started.