Tag Archives: opening day

For Love of the Game

If you know me at all, you know that one thing I love is my baseball. Every year around this time I wax poetic about Opening Day, and this year will be no exception.

baseball.jpg

But don’t worry.

Although I’m repeating myself, this post isn’t going to be filled with statistics and names or metaphors about the game that I’ve loved all my life. If you don’t love baseball, I won’t try and convince you. If you do love baseball, you don’t need me to tell you why.

But for me, it’s more than a game.

It is just a bat and a ball, but it can unite a city, a state, a family with one swing of that bat or one pitch of that ball. It can make grown men cry, and sometimes, even a 32-year-old woman who usually only cries for road kill and good food spilled on the floor.

It’s remembering summers by games that were played—the crack of the bat, the stitch on a ball, the smell of the grass in the field. It’s looking forward to spring training in the dead of winter when every other joy seems frozen beneath layers of ice and of snow—especially given the historically horrible winter that we’ve endured.

It’s being able to identify players by their batting stance or jersey number and feeling an instant connection with strangers wearing clothes with the old English “D” for my Detroit Tigers.

For me, it’s an escape.

Sports in general afford me the opportunity to forget about the mundane concerns of everyday life for a while and to spend time with others who take pleasure in enjoying a similar break. It’s a reminder that I can still feel excited about something when a lot of the time I’m just numb.

For me, it’s family.

It’s a 92-year-old woman who can’t always remember who I am, but who might tell me about a game in 1948 with a clarity time hasn’t stolen quite yet.

I know this year will be different.

Gram doesn’t understand the games on TV and can’t comprehend what we’re watching. Selfishly, this makes me sad because I feel like we lost our big “thing”—the talks about players, the gripes about calls, the excitement of recaps and scores.

Yet watching the game with her takes me right back to being sprawled on her living room floor as a kid, watching each game on mute while Ernie Harwell came through on the radio. (But not lying underneath the ceiling fan, as I was warned the goddamn thing would inevitably fall on me and crush me to death. Fuzzy memories.)

For me, it relates to everyday life.

The goal of every single hitter is to always make it back home. There are daily ups and downs, success and adversity. You can fail miserably one day and be the hero the next day. Slumps happen, but you have to let go of the past and look forward and remember the goal—and that you’re not in this thing by yourself.

It’s tradition and memories tied up with box scores and hopefulness mixed in with stats.

Sure, it’s a “pastime. ” But it’s my favorite way to pass that time.

Play ball.

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Jose Can You See

While Thursday is generally just the day in between people annoying me with “It’s Hump Day!” and “TGIF!” it’s actually a really important day for me this week.

It’s Opening Day.

leylandgnome

And yes, we have a Detroit Tiger gnome named Leyland.

If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time, first of all, thank you and you deserve a medal of honor and possibly a psychological examination. But you also are aware that baseball has always played a huge role in my life and quite frankly, in my happiness.

Because the Tigers open up their regular season on Thursday, I felt like I needed to write a post about it. Then I realized that the post I was trying to write had already been written—last year, by me.

It’s tacky to refer you back to old posts, but if you have even one tiny cell of fandom or like reading about my 89-year-old grandma explaining the rules of the game to her deaf friends at the nursing home, please go back and read these two posts.

Opening Day Senior Moments

My Perfect Game

They’re important to me, as I’m grateful to have another Opening Day to celebrate with the old woman and another season to enjoy. I’m taking Thursday afternoon off and once again, the three of us will gather around the TV and belt out the National Anthem off-key before my grandma simultaneously yells about a bad call or how the popcorn tastes like shit.

But another reason I love baseball is that after star players retire, they can still entertain us with their talents. No, I’m not talking about starting charities or becoming insightful game analysts, although those are commendable endeavors.

I’m talking about Twitter, and specifically, Jose Canseco on Twitter. The following stream of tweets last week have nothing to do with baseball, but quite honestly, they’re just as entertaining. And now I want Jose Canseco to send me a virtual hug.

Enjoy.*

Jose Can You See

how do we stop global warming

reduce reuse recycle morons class in session i complete you of to practice for my playboy celebrity golf tournament

clowns if you dont stop your mass consumption we will have no polar bears soon need to recycle or else no more bears

1 more stop global warming tip .turn your home heat all off at nite .saves $ an energy and lowers your body temp so u will live 20% longer

flanel pajamas morons share body heat like the pioneers did even in snow

hole families used to sleep in one big bed and produce no waste how did we go from their to killing polar bears in 100 years

al gore was a head of his time .i miss him rest in peace buddy hug for u

sorry al you need to make some more noise .Keep fighting for us i believe in your and i am with you

what did you clowns learn yesterday other than gore is not deed?

Had no idea @algore had a tv station. What a coincidence he is all over news today about firing people. Hug for u al

we need to consume less and protect enviroment for future generation nobody has no regard for the earth anymore. lets do our part

His last solution?

how about a sitcom where I play a gym teacher and wear those old skool nuthugger shorts coaches used to wear with those high tube socks

*I did not edit any of these, as the horrific nature of grammatical structure simply adds to the charm.

Home run.

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