I [Heart] Baseball

April 07, 2010

"Baseball is a ballet without music. Drama without words."
Ernie Harwell

Last night our local pro baseball team played its season-opening game. They won in a most exciting fashion, with left fielder Carl Crawford knocking in the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the ninth. Go Rays!

Photo courtesy Stockvault.net

We watch a fair amount of televised sports in the Johnson household. I could blame it on the boys (the 40+- and 15-year-olds), but I admit that as often as not, I’m the one switching on the set. I’ve already written about the Sunday afternoon tradition of football and queso dip. I would have discussed the Tampa Bay Lightning, our hockey team, but the less said about this season, the better. And now it’s time for baseball.

"That’s the true harbinger of spring, not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of a bat on a ball."
Bill Veeck

In some ways, baseball is my favorite sport to watch on TV. Aside from the attraction of athletic men in uniforms, I like the somewhat cerebral nature of the game. I find it restful. I can do a crossword puzzle, sketch, read the paper, surf the net (I’ve got a game on now, as I type)—and still not miss anything. Baseball’s leisurely pace allows me to watch the action (and yes, there IS action) as well as putter around the house. I don’t know why, but this appeals to me.

"This is a game to be savored, not gulped. There’s time to discuss everything between pitches or between innings."
Bill Veeck

Even watching a baseball game in person is relatively relaxing. The Rays’ stadium is an air-conditioned dome in St. Petersburg, a blessing in muggy, thunderstorm-y Florida. We’ve made many happy memories in the stands, eating peanuts, hot dogs and cotton candy (and pizza and chicken tenders…). Once, when our son was in Little League, we marched around the field with other uniformed Little League teams while the pros warmed up. We’ve appeared on the “Kiss Cam” on the JumboTron and my husband once caught a foul ball. We went wild with excitement when the Rays went from last in the league in 2007 to the World Series in 2008.

If you want to know more about baseball, I suggest It Takes More Than Balls: The Savvy Girls’ Guide to Understanding and Enjoying Baseball by Deidre Silva and Jackie Koney. (With me, there’s always a book recommendation.)

The Rays have just taken the lead over the Orioles. Time to hunt up my sketchbook and settle in for the duration.

"Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona."
George F. Will

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  1. Still much to learn.....about you!! Had no idea you enjoyed sports and especially baseball!

  2. I do love sports--which is odd, considering that I'm not very good at most of them!

  3. Love the George Will quote! Awesome. :)

    I grew up loving baseball. Back then, the Atlanta Braves were an unloved, underperforming team in a crappy old stadium, and the schools gave out four free tickets to every straight-A student. So twice every spring (once for me, and once for my sister), we went as a family, and I learned to love it there. I cannot for some reason enjoy the sport televised -- but live, it's awesome. (And when I lived in Canada, I very quickly developed a love of hockey, which I also prefer live, and which could not be more different from baseball in temperament.) But I'll never, ever get the appeal of football, I'm afraid... ;)

    Fun to learn more about you, Kathy. With each post, I picture more clearly your daily life and personality!

  4. I grew up in Southern California, and A students used to get free tickets to Dodger games! My mom and I used to love going to those.

    I can see how you'd quickly become addicted to hockey in Canada--it is such a fun game to watch in person. I really love the Lightning, but they've had a rough go of it the past couple of years--new owners, new coaches, players being traded. Their Stanley Cup win seems a lifetime ago!

  5. I enjoy baseball too - but I've never gotten into hockey!

  6. Hockey can be really fun to watch, too, if you have Hi-def reception. Otherwise, sometimes it's hard to follow the puck. And it's definitely not "restful."

  7. I'm right there with you on baseball. So much easier for the eye to follow, and of course, so much better to watch in person.

  8. I especially like day games--love to putter around with the game in the background. The Rays just finished a four-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox (Go Rays!) so I'm pretty happy right now!