If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?
I hear it from just outside the brick and mortar walls separating me from the sanctuary I visit every summer. I walk up to the man with the tattered pouch around his waist, greeting everyone with a half smile, half squint because of the warm July sun glaring down at him.
“Tickets please,” I hear him say, and smile back with a look of anticipation. I hand him my folded piece of paper. He tears it down the middle even though the pre-formed perforation was clear to the naked eye.
My nostrils begin to flair as I take in the familiar smells of sizzling franks napping inside their warm glutenous cocoons and artificial cheese blankets covering crunchy, salty discs inside a plastic tray.
“Not til the 5th,” I tell the obsessive compulsive inside and make my way inside.
I am greeted by an empty row of glossy green seats, their mouths closed and waiting for anyone to come and be cradled in their tough plastic embrace.
C1 is what I’m looking for. In the solar system of stadium seating, this is Earth. Not too close to the action, not so far that I miss something. The perfect place, within the perfect place.
I settle in to my home near “home” and look out at the green and brown palette in front of me. The symmetry of the lines going out from the plate to 1st and 3rd tickle the mathematical nerd inside,
“Cracker Jacks! Cold beer!,” I hear behind me. A young man, already dripping with sweat and combating it with a familiar team towel wrapped around his neck, carries his large wooden tray filled with the traditional goodies that make their way into the lyrics of a popular 7th inning tune. I look back and notice the sun is smiling directly on my face. I squint a bit and smile back. The warm breath of this bright star is juxtaposed against the rare cool breeze bouncing off of the colorful canvas in front of me.
In this moment, I’m reminded of why I love this game so much. The meticulousness, the preciseness. Human chess between managers, trading players for runs, communicating through the craziest of physical comedy with their various “signs.” The methodical ritual a batter goes through between each pitch and the equally methodical ritual a pitcher goes through between each throw.
This game is a story that takes it’s time, slowly revealing tidbits of it’s plot and character with each hit, run, strikeout and walk. Each inning, a chapter full of action, romance, drama and comedy. And like any good story, it’s not always about a happy ending or even a resolution. Sometimes stories are just enjoyed in their telling, and this game tells a story through its sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches. For me, this is a story worth telling.
Baseball is a story worth telling.
(Feedback is appreciated. Questions I’m asking:
- Does my post feel too long? How could I make it more focused?
- If you were interested in basebal, would you find this post interesting?