5 Reasons I Love Baseball
#1 in the Nation: 4 Time MHSAA State Champion Sumrall Bobcats (2011)
I adore baseball for a lot of reasons but my mother has always said I didn’t really have a choice. Beginning the year my brother was old enough to qualify for the local little league, my world became one of homeruns, shortstops, stolen bases and athletic cups. I have personally sat in monsoons, snow and heat waves to watch my brother and other favorites play and I have loved every minute of it. Here’s why...
1. Everything can change in a minute.
I have never understood the people that think baseball is slow. One of the best parts of baseball is how everything can change in a heartbeat. You can be down by several runs and if one guy hits it out it can change the game. Unlike Pete Rose, I would never be crazy enough to bet on baseball because there are just too many potential factors that could change the outcome of a game and that’s what makes watching a game so much fun!
2. It creates camaraderie.
When you are truly a part of a team/fan experience you can’t help but create a weird kind of family with those on the journey as well. We had assigned seats at my brother’s high school stadium and let me tell you, I grew to know and love those that sat around us. Every time we would have a home game it was like a family reunion. You can’t help but bond with those of whom you have shared both, cheers and tears. Even when surrounded by strangers you can’t help but join together as you root for your favorite team. I know this happens with many sports but there is something about the atmosphere that truly brings everyone together. Speaking of atmosphere...
3. The atmosphere is infectious.
Each sport has its own atmosphere but to me baseball has the best one. Now, opening day might be a little chilly but prime baseball weather includes beautiful blue skies, the smell of fresh cut grass and just enough wind to keep you from getting sticky. Then you have the ambiance of the stadium itself. Each one is unique and boasts a proud history of the monumental and bizarre. Add in the chatter of excited fans, the delicious smell of hot dogs and the iconic uniforms and I’m one happy girl. It’s hard to be sad at a baseball game...unless you’re losing.
4. Every player matters.
Baseball is strange in that it’s a team sport that requires a lot of individual performances and the higher you go up the leagues the more specialized some of these performances can get. Like you may have a guy that is just the lefty submarine pitcher brought in twice a season to confuse the guy in the batter’s box but for those few moments that pitcher seems to hold the fate of a nation in his hand. I’ve also noticed in the two decades of watching my brother play, that the most effective teams are the ones that view everyone as an important part of the outcome… even if that means your role is to be the loudest chanter or the one that beats on the bucket. Baseball is such a mental game and it’s easy to let the other team get in your head which is why supporting your teammates can be crucial. I’ve seen some great ball players, who did some amazing things on the field, yet, their greatest contribution was being the rallying point for those struggle moments. Often games are won or lost in the dugout or locker room long before a pitch is thrown.
5. It’s full of tradition.
You know me. I LOVE tradition and baseball is the quintessential American game filled with some of the weirdest traditions you can imagine. I think that’s why baseball draws together so many age groups, ethnicities and socio-economic standings. It gives very unconnected groups something to connect over. I mean, It’s not unusual to go to a game and see a dad, grandpa, son, uncle and more all having a great time because there is something for everyone because the game is timeless.
As a completely non-superstitious person, I still love baseball juju. You know what I mean? Those weird traditions that are carried by players, teams and fans for the sake of their favorites. I know guys who always wear the same necklace for good luck. A team that repeats the same mantra before every game and swears they lost once because they messed the words up. Teams that refuse to wear their white uniforms because they lost while wearing them for the first time and they believe them to be cursed. Even a set of fans that carry what I’ve deemed the “Lucky Turkey”, a practice target on a stick, to every game. And while I’m a very logical and intelligent person, I must say I get concerned when I don’t see that turkey bobbing above the crowd. It’s fun to have some silly something that brings you together and gives you a meaningful history with others.
So, as baseball season gets underway, let’s go out and enjoy the sunshine and hopefully each other's company if Covid allows.