Hello My Friend

Apr 4, 2013 by


My relationship with the sport of baseball began over thirty years ago.  My earliest baseball memory is Tug McGraw decked in red pinstripes, feverously jumping up and down after recording the last out of the 1980 World Series.  Shortly thereafter, the relationship became increasingly more intense and focused.    Baseball made its initial appearance during a time I was highly impressionable and open to embrace something I didn’t have to share with anyone. A connection was made and to this very day it remains.

Youth becomes less visible in the review mirror with each passing year.  We all move pass certain interests, passions and relationships in hopes of uncovering what we seek out today.  However, a few still hold on to us regardless of age.  I’m not sure why baseball and I continue down this road together.  I have my theory, but my investment with the analysis is time wasted.  So I just accept it for what it is.  Baseball and I reconnect at the onset of spring then say our farewells when the leaves begin to fall.   We don’t spend much time together during certain months of the year but pick back up like we had never departed.  The consistency never wanes; the attributes remain.

Baseball constructed a way to link me to older generations of family members.  It was a way to open the lines of communication with those I shared a name but no other noteworthy commonalities.  Without baseball, I might not have been keen to listen to, or take part in, conversations with those who were relative strangers.   I would have missed a great deal of my education.

Any longstanding relationship will consist of peaks and valleys.  In fact, I tend to think of baseball as the longtime friend whose relationship always seems to be in question.   It falls on me to end it but I can never muster up the strength to do so.  My loyalty is stronger than logic.

Relationships are built on feelings of euphoria and the premise of perfection.  Time exposes the imperfections as we begin to see the realities behind the curtain. The stage of innocence is unsustainable and eventually dismissed forever.  However, it pays back the loss with the currency of wisdom.  I wonder if I would be apt to trade all the wisdom gained for one last moment of youthful innocence so to experience the feelings I had at the very beginning.

Though my love for the game is unconditional it can certainly be tough to like at times.  In fact baseball is downright cruel more times than not.  It may lead to ridicule when you grasp for hope as you express emotions outwardly for everyone to witness.  Then the outcome doesn’t turn out how you wished leading to a different set of emotions; uncertainty and disappointment.  The anger of loss may remain for what feels like eternity until the warmth brings about hope once again and you repeat the cycle once more.  Baseball never promises sanity.  Baseball is fickle.  I once watched a groundball avoid the glove and I cried.

Why must I continue with the seemingly one-sided relationship, do I not have any ounce of pride?

Maybe I became selfish in my adult years; always looking for how I can benefit from the relationship.  That outlook becomes problematic, leading me down a path of taking something dear to me for granted.  When I was close to ending it one day, baseball gave me something to hold on to forever in a way only it could.  It eased pain and despair and gave me some insight to how it all works.  I am more appreciative of our time together these days.  I make time to see its beauty and to listen to its unique voices.  I will expose my children to my relationship with baseball, what they do with it is not my concern.  If anything, many years from now, I hope baseball can be a way to spark up remembrance of their Dad’s love for them.  I understand that baseball provides the only link to their great grandfather who they never knew.

The joys of Baseball do not come daily; you have to grind them out through a long and at times tedious journey.   Any relationship of substance comes from experiences marked with obstacles to overcome and pleasures to take in.  That’s the only way long term relationships can truly work, and we should strive to never give up on them.  It’s all we have.

It’s April, my good friend and I will be sharing a few drinks tonight at 7:05, I can hardly wait…



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