In the grand scheme of things, baseball isn’t that important… to most people, although there are a few zealots out there-and you know who you are (and I’m not saying that’s a bad thing-wink wink, nudge nudge, know what I mean?). Yet in what can be defined as extraordinary times, some things have to be let go of and set aside.
One of those is the national pastime, of which I’ve been a devoted follower and participant for most of my life. And I got to be honest, that really bums me out.
It’s now April, which should be the height of the American baseball season. I’m not talking pro ball, I assume, maybe hopefully someday, they’ll have a truncated season… maybe. No, I’m talking about all the baseball the rest of us are a part of that’s not going to happen.
No Little League. No high school games. No College games. Who knows if there’ll be any select or Legion games? Summer ball? Adult or rec ball?
Will parents let their kids get back into it, or hold back and worry if it’s safe?
We’re not even allowed to play catch.
Nothing has ever shut down baseball in the hundred and fifty plus years it’s been played. Not war. Not deep depression. Not bad, terrible, or mediocre play. If nothing else, we could always cobble together a pickup game.
There won’t be any going down to the local fields to watch those first games. No first hit of the season, first putout, double-play, strikeout, home run, steal, walk, error; all the stuff that makes it such as joy. Watching the little kids play in the dirt in the outfield as the coaches yell at them to “get their heads in the game”. The older kids who are rounding into form and working on their games. The high schoolers and the college kids playing for that chance at the big leagues. The highs and the lows; the winning hit and the game-ending strikeout-I’ve been lucky (or unlucky) to have been a part of both.
I played as a kid, coached my boys when they played, and have played for 20 years in the PSSBL (Puget Sound Senior Baseball League). I go to games at all levels because I love game.
And I miss it.
I get that we have to do what we have to do to get through this, and that means some things have to be sacrificed. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it, and that I won’t miss it, and all the people I know and love who congregate to talk and grouse and relive and look forward to a great game. And I extend that to all the folks who miss their sport, be it basketball, hockey, soccer, bowling, you name it.
At this point who knows if there’ll be any football?
Anyway, after we get through this, and I believe we will, there are 2 words I can’t wait to hear:
©2020 David WIlliam Pearce