America’s Game

One trivial, but nevertheless disappointing thing about the “social distancing” that has become a part of everyday life across the world, is that the start of the baseball season has been delayed. To me baseball is something that takes me back to simpler times. Days when I was a boy and summers were spent outdoors nearly from sunrise to sunset.

It also brings back memories of my dad. He would often stop by the store on his way home from work and buy me a few packs of baseball cards. The best part was opening those packs to see what kinds of treasures they contained. Plus, there was always that rock hard stick of gum that tasted like cardboard! I still have all of those cards packed away safely in a big, plastic tub in our basement. There are a few cards that are worth something, I am sure, but I’ll probably never sell my collection. It holds precious memories. I’ll hopefully be able to pass it down to someone else some day.

It always brightens my day to hear baseball return to the radio after a long, cold winter. It is a reminder that spring will soon be here. Days will start to get longer, and the temperatures will begin to rise. This year there has been no baseball. There hasn’t been that reassurance that spring is on its way. However, I know that it is.

In a few short months, baseball will be back in full swing. The Chicago Cubs will be back on the radio, and I will tune in to listen to Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer describe the play-by-play from Wrigley Field. This season will be more special as I will be able to introduce Baby Boy to the magical game. In fact, just today, Amanda, who is a St. Louis Cardinals fan, graciously presented Baby Boy with his first Cubs hat.

Perhaps by midseason it will fit him. Likewise, we might just have to bring those baseball cards up out of the basement and I can tell him about the greats of the game when I was a boy, such as Ryne Sandberg, Ozzie Smith, Ken Griffey Jr., Ricky Henderson, and Greg Maddux.

Baseball is a sport that still captures my imagination, especially when I hear it on the radio. There is nothing better when your team is down by a run in the bottom of the ninth inning, and your favorite hitter comes to the plate. There is one man on first, the count is full, and you hear the crack of the bat and the announcers erupt when the ball lands in the center field bleachers. This drama is what makes the game so magical. With one swing of the bat, the game can change in an instant.

Stay safe as we all wait patiently for this global pandemic to pass. Spring is on its way. Baseball will be back and all will be right with the world once again. Let’s go Cubs!

Baby Boy has some growing to do before the Boys of Summer return.

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