Play ball!

Today, it's officially spring in my book.
Everything is new, everything is even, everyone has potential and everyone has hope.
Everything is right with the world.
Shut your eyes, you can hear the pop of the mitt, the muted shout of the ump, you can smell that pine tar/peanut shell mixture and you can feel the excitement.

When I think of opening day, and baseball in general for that matter, I think of being a young boy going to see the Tigers play at the old ballpark. Our seats were usually in the upper deck. We would climb those huge ramps to get up to our seats. Normally the thought of being turned loose in that place with a skateboard would be enough to blow a 9 year olds mind... but not on these days. These days were about baseball! We would finally find our section... and at old tigers stadium in the upper deck you had to walk the catwalk, basically a fenced plank, to get out to your section. That short walk will forever be the essence of what it is to be at a baseball game to me.

As you walk out, you hear all the sounds that are associated with the ballpark... "Peanuts", "Cold Beer", "Hot Dogs"... Ernie's voice being piped over the loudspeakers, in all it's pregame beauty... You can't walk, you gotta run... and when you start to see the sky... to a 9 year olds eyes, it has to be the bluest sky you have ever seen... then you get closer... and you see the outfield grass... Never have you seen such green in your entire life... then the infield dirt... it is so perfect in a hue that only manicured dirt can be... it is just all so perfect!!... and somehow, it being kept under wraps as you walk that catwalk really gave it that extra BANG as you finally see it... it is all hidden, then all of a sudden POW!!! In one moment it is there in front of you in all it's glory... undeniably beautiful... undeniably pure... undeniably perfect... That to me, is what baseball is all about. That is the backdrop that fueled my dreams... that is the background that will continue to fuel my memories until my last breath... And although the old ball park has began to grow over itself, it will always live on in my mind as the perfect place... one where your hero's always won, whether or not they really did on the field or not. I've been to other parks and loved alot of them too, but under it all the reason I love them and baseball in general is that feeling... running down that catwalk, the blue sky, the green grass, that perfect dirt... That is what baseball is about to me.

Happy opening day, everyone... for the next six months the lows arent really that low, and the highs are almost surreal... Everything is right in the world...

For, lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of the singing of birds is come;
And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.
--Song of Solomon (as read by Ernie Harwell)

Go Tigers, God Bless Ernie Harwell and root, root, root for the home team...

1 comment:

kentucky smooth said...

Great post man, Happy opener and go Tigers!