I love baseball. As a kid, I used to love playing it. From sun-up until sun-down when possible. Dream was to be a major league baseball player. Could’ve been one, too, but for one challenge: Injuries? Naw. Bad timing Uh uhh. I’m afraid it was talent…more accurately, a huge lack of such.
None the less, I love watching it at the major league level. The talent, the skill, the strategy, it continues to amaze and delight me. But, you know what else does?
The entire essence. From the moment I enter the stadium, see the people gathering with anticipation, and the excitement around the concession stands. Then, coming out of the tunnels where the field, manicured to perfection, looks like it’s just waiting for the action to begin. The bursts of organ music throughout the game has a special sound to it that is barely describable.
I have great memories as a kid of going to Red Sox games at Fenway Park (correctly pronounced “pahk”) with my Dad. Later, I remember often skipping school (shh!) early in the season, “thumbing a ride” (the world was different back then) to the train station and then heading to Fenway with my friends. We’d get the cheap bleacher seats, make our way into the grandstands and if — by some stroke of luck — there were some empty box seats (yes, the world was different back then), we’d catch a few innings there before the security guard kicked us back to where we belonged. I’d even attend games alone if no one else wanted to come. Didn’t matter to me. I just loved the game, and loved being there.
A couple of times a year I try and attend a Florida Marlins’ game, though I must admit it doesn’t always happen. What a waste of a Summer when it doesn’t. 🙂
Several years ago, my friend, Bob Rathbun, voice of the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club and former play-by-play announcer for the Atlanta Braves on Fox Sports Net invited me to join him and color commentator Tom Paciorek in the broadcast booth to watch a game. I couldn’t say yes fast enough. It was awesome!
Two weeks ago, while in Southern California, I attended my first game at Dodger stadium with my friends, Heather Williamson and Tracy Drake. WOW, WOW and WOW. That same great feeling. And the famous “Dodger Dogs?” They might have (might have!) rivaled the old Fenway Franks.
Is there something in your life that spawns these types of amazing feelings? How do you use it as an emotional anchor when you need a lift? Can it “bring you back?”
In a few weeks I’ll be speaking in Chicago and will be attending my first game at Wrigley Field. My great friend, Randy Stelter scored us some awesome box seats and promised we could get there early enough to watch batting practice, as well.
Did I say he was my great friend? I meant best friend! 🙂