The Perpetual Hope of Baseball

by kim on April 5, 2012 · 6 comments

in Sports

It’s opening day here in Detroit.

There’s something about baseball that makes it so much more attractive than any other sport to me. Perhaps it’s the fact that a family of four can actually afford to go to a game without taking out a personal line of credit.  Or maybe it’s the fact that even though the game moves rather slow (in comparison to other sports), the fate of a team can turn on a dime.  Or maybe, just maybe, it’s something about those summers of youth spent in the stands of old Tiger Stadium, the smell of Ball Park franks filling the air, and the voice of Ernie Harwell on a transistor radio.

Baseball breeds hope.  It deals in big memories.  I’ll never forget being at Comerica Park when the 2006 Tigers won the ALDS against the Yankees.  I’ll always remember seeing a triple play from the bleachers with my brother.  I’ll never forget the true doubleheader at Tiger Stadium against the White Sox spent with my dad and brother.

Magglio Ordonez returning home after a 3-run walk off home run in the ALCS in 2006.

There’s something about baseball that makes it so accessible, yet still so opulent and sacred.  The memories.  The superstitions.  The curses.  The surprises.  The streaks.  It all gets wrapped up in this uber-American sport.  Baseball is unique because it’s the international melting pot that we all are meant to be.  We get 162 games with a team each year to bring us closer to unity.  Sometimes the stands are empty and the joy is found off the field.  But some magical years the race to a division title is firmly within your reach.

Loyal fans of baseball, unite.  Reach out to those would-be fans.  Embrace the game that gives us hope.  The game of Ruth. The game of Robinson.  The game of Aaron.

The game of you.

The game of me.

…and welcome another season back onto the field.

———-

And if you want more baseball reading, check out this amazing column about the ability of baseball to take you back in time while enriching your present and future.

If you need proof that baseball is the best sport around, how about this recent article from The New Republic about how baseball is the least exploitative sport.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Smedette April 5, 2012 at 9:35 am

I’m so glad you included a link to that NYT piece by Colum McCann (I was going to recommend it if you hadn’t already read it). It’s one of the greatest things that I’ve read in a long time.

Amazing how our teams can build us up, rip out our hearts and make us scream with joy. Often in the same week (or even game).

PLAY BALL!

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kim April 5, 2012 at 11:17 am

I’ve had that piece in my mailbox since you posted it. I saw it on my phone, but wanted to read it on a bigger screen. I saved it for last night. It was beautiful and moving. I almost just linked to it and called it a day.

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Meredith April 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I was thinking of you all day, actually, because the Tigers played the Red Sox and it looked good for the Sox for awhile there, but of course we lost (what else is new?). Congrats on winning on opening day. I’ll be here in Boston, drinking heavily and foolishly hoping and praying that the Sox don’t screw it up this year (we’re nothing if not stupidly optimistic!).

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kim April 6, 2012 at 9:34 am

I was thinking about you as well. I was going to start some friendly banter on Twitter, but then we almost gave up the game in the 9th. Thankfully we reclaimed that thing. Verlander’s performance was too good to let that game be a loss.

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Abby April 6, 2012 at 10:06 am

As you know, baseball is a HUGE part of my life and my family. I will never forget being in my grandma’s living room with my mom and Uncle when Mags hit that home run to send them to the Series. Tears all the way around and a memory I’ll never, ever lose or replace. My grandma has stories of meeting and talking with Ernie and growing up with the game, but she still says that’s her best memory as well.

Play ball, boys! Play ball!

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