Baseball is back. . .finally!
Though the weather hasn't been totally cooperative (Cleveland had a hard time getting their home opener done thanks to a spring blizzard!), the boys are playing ball again all over the country.
Call me over the edge if you like, but the return of baseball every year provides me a reason to hope.
If you love the game, you'll understand.
If you don't, at this moment you're thinking I'm nuts and there is absolutely nothing I can say to explain or justify my feelings.
Maybe it is about my childhood. Maybe it is connected to the memories. I must admit I can still smell my old glove, the fresh grass and the ball on my hands. I can feel the heat. I recall the sudden excitement of a hot grounder headed my way or the crack of the ball against the bat.
Baseball's back! I can read the box scores again over my Wheaties! I ask you now, could breakfast be any better than that?
It doesn't even matter who wins, not ultimately.
The joy is in the game, and not just the season. That's what makes baseball so unique, at least to people like me. Every game stands on its own. Doesn't matter who is playing. Sure, I yell for the Rangers every time they take the field. But the point is the game. The amazing plays, the strategy, the pitching. The game is about each game and the team.
I confess: I grew up on the New York Yankees. Mantle, Maris, Berra, Ford, Richardson, Boyer, Turley. . .the list goes on and on. I still find myself pulling for the pinstripes, I can't help myself.
So, here's how I see the season ending in the late fall:
East: New York Yankees
Central: Detroit Tigers
West: Los Angeles Angels
Wild Card: Boston Red Sox
East: New York Mets
Central: St. Louis Cardinals
West: Los Angeles Dodgers
Wild Card: Chicago Cubs
Yankees versus Dodgers. . .Yankees in six!
Hope to see ya at the ballpark!
On a more serious note, today is Jackie Robinson Day for Major League Baseball! In every major league park in the nation today fans and players will remember number 42.
On April 15, 1947, Robinson broke the color line for baseball when he took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers in their game against the Boston Braves. The Dodgers won the game, played at Ebbets Field, 5-3.
The white controlled press paid little attention to this first, historic game.
During that first season, Robinson endured lots of insults, foul language and racially motivated hatred. The Dodgers' first series in Philadelphia against the Phillies proved the worst in terms of racial insults from both fans and players.
It was during that game that Dodgers' second baseman, Eddie Stanky, a native of Alabama, came to Robinson's defense in a tirade that likely couldn't be published, even today!
Branch Rickey, the Dodgers' General Manager who signed Robinson, later said that it was this series against the Phillies that brought the Dodgers together as a team. They came within one game of winning the World Series that year.
Robinson scored a run in that first game to help the Dodgers on to a win. He wrote a column for The Pittsburgh Courier afterwards in which he said, "Whenever I hear my wife read fairy tales to my little boy, I'll listen. I know now that dreams do come true" ( "Breaking the Truth Barrier," Stuart Miller, The New York Times, Saturday, April 14, 2007, A27).
Thank you, Jackie Robinson! The number 42 means a lot to baseball and to the United States today.
December 8, 2013–second Sunday in Advent
30 minutes ago