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! 🙂
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Bob – you absolutely touch a chord with me on this and, I’m sure, for many others. I’m going to Comerica Park tonight to see the Detroit Tigers (hopefully) beat the Minnesota Twins. I’ve been especially lucky that my son (now 15) has grown to love the game and enjoys going with me.
Come to Detroit Sunday September 25 and I’ll be happy to take you to see the Tigers – Orioles. Great seats too.
And they have Kosher Hot Dogs at Comerica Park too!
Of course I have yearnings for childhood memories! And while I love baseball for the very same reasons, nothing can match my memories of Germany. My parents and older sister all came over on the boat. I was the first in my family to be born in the U.S., but we really remained a very German family, and english was my second language. Nothing can match our annual trips back to Germany to be with aunts, uncle, cousins and grandparents. The damp weather. The downtowns; a mix of diesel and rain and street vendor food smells. The fact that not many children in the world get this opportunity. Most of my family in Germany has passed on now, but those memories are still seared into my head. It is always a treat to watch the local news (thanks to the internet) and an unimaginable thrill to be able to travel back occasionally. (Listening to Pat Metheny’s “Au Lait” helps bring back some of those images, too.)
Jo, that sounds like some terrific memories that bring back great feelings of joy for you. The annual trips back must have been wonderful. That’s awesome!! Thank you for sharing with us!
Joel, it’s as American as…well, baseball and apple pie, isn’t it? So glad you’re enjoying that with your son, who will have similar memories. Re: a game, we’ll have to do that next year if I’m speaking in Detroit during the season and the Tigers are at home. And the Kosher hot dogs. Yum! With Gulden’s spicy brown mustard, I hope. 🙂
I love anything and everything that is put together well… yeah you got some good content going on there for sure.
Thank you. Very kind of you!
Not sure exactly why, but reading this made me feel really happy. I was right there with you, hearing the organ music, smelling the hotdogs and feeling the excitement. So cool that you would go to a game by yourself~that’s a TRUE fan!
So thanks for taking me with you today. I enjoyed “the game” of imagining being there. And I agree that using our Memory to recall this kind of joy is a really helpful tool when we need a lift. Thanks for jogging my memory by sharing your memory. 🙂
PS. I thought I was your best friend!
Hi Linda: I go a lot of places by myself (dinner, movies, ballgames, etc.). Actually, that’s never been a problem for me. I just happen to enjoy major league baseball games a real lot! 🙂 But, would be even better with you along. And, regarding the P.S., of course you’re my best friend. I was just taking “creative license” for the sake of the article. 😉
Right on the money again Bob. It’s all about capturing those things that trigger our excitement and enthusiasm. Being able to take elements that got us to dream big and incorporate them into our lives lets us live a much more fulfilling life….some might call it the path to Stratospheric Success!
By the way, if you want to experience REAL baseball….come to a Cardinals game with me. 🙂
Thank you, Bill. I like that “Stratospheric Success” thing you mentioned. 🙂 Yes, a Cardinals game would be great. Where I live (Jupiter, FL) we are the Spring Training home for the Cards. Have been to only one of their Spring Training games though, with my friend, Teri. Was against the Red Sox so was extra cool. Was also cool to see Mike Shannon in the broadcast booth. I remember him from the 1967 series when your Cards beat my Red Sox (oh, the disappointment!!) 🙂
What a wonderful story/ memory about the love of baseball.
I’ve loved going to games so much. I think I love all the people cheering and singing silly songs all at the same time as much as anything. One silly song, lately, was “Spongebob Square Pants” and I knew all the words!
I have three brothers who love baseball much more than I do and know much more about it.
Examples: Working in Chicago, many times, I did NOT go to Wrigley field once! Didn’t even know how bad that was!!! LOL!
Much worse, though: I went to Louisville, KY to work for a short time, and was so happy to be bringing one of my brother’s a gift back since I was there on his birthday. I called him. I was so excited to have found something I knew he would love.
It wasn’t a Louisville Slugger! One of the worse blunders of all time!
He did love the gift, but after one of my nephews told me what he was hoping for, I felt I had missed a wonderful opportunity.
I didn’t even know…:-)
Pamela, knowing you as I do…I can see all of that. And, your not getting the Louisville Slugger, and having no idea of the significance (not to mention, irony). But, you such a cool human being though…it just doesn’t matter! 🙂
Some years back, I was in Chicago and called a scalper to get tickets for a Cub game, because I hadn’t been to Wrigley yet either. Didn’t even know or care who they were playing; I just wanted to experience one of the greatest ballparks of our time. I get there and discover the pitching match-up was Greg Maddux versus Roger Clemons! And yes I love those Dodger dogs too!
Now THAT must have been one great matchup!! 🙂
Even though I’m a big time basketball fan there’s something about heading out to Yankees Stadium – well, at least the previous version – and taking in a game. Nothing like the baseball experience.
Reading your post, I can smell the hot dogs. I can see the nut jobs in the $5 bleacher seats. I can feel the excitement.
Wonderful post for moving me down memory lane. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Hi Ryan, never made it to the old Yankee Stadium People who have been there, however, tell me it was a magical place. I have no doubt about that. I’ve also heard great things about the new one. Thank you for sharing your memories with us!
Fun post, my friend! I do catch a lot of baseball games but I find my excitement in traveling to foreign places. Besides being in a different country and experiencing the culture, language, food, people and way of life, I totally enjoy the actual travel. Buying my ticket, arranging my lodging, packing my bags, telling family and friends, creating an agenda of activities etc. The actual plan ride is always interactive. Awesome post, my friend…keep up the terrific work!
Wow, Chi Chi…so we’re similar in what we like, other than being about 99 percent totally and completely different in what we like (we both do like baseball games) LOL.