I think all of us can agree that baseball is one of the greatest sports ever invented. Like any other game, the objectives are pretty simple. But when you consider all the skills required in playing it- the coordination, the science, the technique and the hard work to become great at it- baseball is an artfully complicated game. This is one of the reasons why it’s a great sport- you know what to do but there are so many ways to do it.
As far as baseball stuff is concerned, the most obvious reason it’s great is because it’s fun. Ask anybody who’s passionate about it, or anybody who’s played it, and you can get a story out the guy (or girl). Maybe he’ll tell you how one day, his dad got home with an oddly shaped piece of leather, and a white ball so big he could hardly hold with his four-year old fingers. He was probably too young to play it but that didn’t stop his dad. The old man got his first glove when he was only two anyway.
Maybe you’ll ask somebody else and she’ll tell you how, when she was nine, she saw the neighborhood boys playing in the abandoned field while walking home. She ran to them and asked if she could play but they said she couldn’t because she was a girl. Then they laughed at her and she was so angry she said “Scared I’ll hit a homerun, mama’s boy?” to the alpha male of the pack. He was a boy so he couldn’t take it.
So they let her play, saying that they’ll “take it easy” on her. She swung the bat and she hit a homerun. They stopped taking it easy on her and she still kept on hitting homeruns. She ends the story saying that she still plays. The cocky nine-year old alpha dog still pitches and she’s still hitting homeruns. They’re also married now.
Ask me what’s my story and I’ll tell you how I only got to play it in PE class the first time. And, I thought I was just doing it for the grade. But when I hit the ball on the first pitch, it was probably one of the most unforgettable feelings I’ve ever felt. For a split-second I felt the bat vibrating in my hands, then I let go and I started running. I kept on running and running and I just felt alive. I didn’t stop playing.
I think that, at the end of the day, people love baseball because almost every game is or can be memorable. People love it, not just because it’s a fun sport in itself, but in the way that it has become part of our lives. Our experiences might not be the same, but what’s the same is that we’ve grown to love the sport. Baseball stuff isn’t just about the actual stuff that you use in the game, but everything you feel and remember when you play it.
Come on, it’s your pitch.