(Part 1 of 3)
I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
I think about the national past-time – the grand ol’ game of baseball.
Yes, baseball – that mathematical ballet played on a green diamond found in a variety of geometric shapes.
Yes, baseball – that timeless game often mirroring society.
Baseball – the game without a clock – which is contradictory to the hectic nature of today’s everyday life – a life requiring time management and electronic calendars.
Baseball – a game that is more subtle than obvious. A game with a ball controlled by the defense; but hitting the ball causes each defender to move to a place of calculated efficiency in order to prevent something from happening. Yes – baseball is chess on grass.
Baseball – a game of definitives – win or lose – ball or strike – safe or out – fair or foul – most, of which, an independent arbiter decides.
To some, baseball is a kids game played by men – but to me, baseball is a man’s game kids play as they dream of becoming a summer icon.
To its loyal fans, baseball is a game of hope designed to break one’s heart – yet the same hope acts as restoration because tomorrow is a new day and the chance to make amends.
Baseball – played on heavenly green cathedrals for the loving souls. From the fan’s and player’s perspective, yes – truly a Field of Dreams. Not the one beside the cornfield, but the ones with the highly manicured brilliant green grass. Every fan remembers the first time their eyes saw major league grass – the green that forever sticks to one’s soul. Mine was Crosley Field in Cincinnati – Reds vs. Giants in the mid 1960s. Yes, my Reds won that night.
Baseball – a game of anticipation, but with anticipation comes waiting. To me, the young focus on anticipation, but as we age, there is a shift to waiting – yet, baseball provides both.
Baseball – a game filled with artistry – the fluidity of a 6-4-3 double play – the athleticism of an outfielder leaping to catch the ball before clearing the wall for a homerun – a catch that delivers relief to some, but heartache to others.
Baseball – the masterfully pitched game that befuddles batters is a work of a master craftsman – a brilliant painter. A few of the best hitters are professional batsmen who actually fail 2 out of 3 times is pure music.
Baseball – whose exclusion of Blacks spawned the Negro Leagues – and whose inclusion closed them – yet, let us not forget Moses Fleetwood Walker.
Baseball – the game that mirrors society. It’s segregated past broken by Jackie Robinson 17 years before Congress passed the Civil Rights Act.
Baseball – a game and a business. Greedy owners and players wanting more is nothing new – actually, close to the age of the professional game. That happens in business – yet today, players act in accordance to their own business decisions. Sadly, the days of a distinguished career in one uniform is slim – but not out.
Baseball – a game that challenges our patience, something that walking the beach does not do because walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.