Saturday, March 17, 2007

Gadabout Jack is Excited About Baseball

Gadabout Celebrates Another Tiger Win in 2006

As we stumble through March, with all its madness, most of America silently prepares for baseball with bridled enthusiasm. Spring is around the corner, buds are appearing on the cherry trees and baseball is being played in Florida and Arizona—Mecca East and Mecca West. That’s right, American’s have two Meccas. We seem to do everything in excess, so why question it? We live for this!

Baseball greats us each year in early spring, and stands by our side offering unconditional friendship throughout summer and fall, until it falls asleep again and rests during the winter months. Baseball is dependable that way. As we move out of darkness, suit up daylight savings time, open the windows and turn off the furnace, baseball greats us with a wide, toothy grin and invites us in.

Baseball can be listened to on the radio, and in the mind’s eye the game can be seen. It is magical that way. Baseball is perfect for napping on the sofa in the afternoon after mowing the lawn. Turn the sound down a little and rest and dream of the field, the grass the ball in play. Some say that makes baseball boring, but fans know better. We know that baseball is perfection.

Baseball stadiums are shrines. Everyone remembers going to their first baseball game. My first such spiritual experience was when I made the pilgrimage to Tiger Stadium in 1968, the year they went the distance over the Cardinals. I saw Al Kaline play right field. I ate a hotdog. I watched beer being drank in great quantities. It was bat day, and I took home a miniature bat that was displayed in my bedroom for years. That single day changed me forever. I became a fan for life. I was baptized.

Baseball is grace. Baseball is for life. Baseball is right around the corner.

"Baseball will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism. Tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set. Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us."
Walt Whitman

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