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Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Baseball Game

The girls and I went to see a Rangers game last night.
As we were watching the game, the oldest, who is 6, asked why I like baseball so much?  That got me to thinking.  I think I like baseball because I played the game growing up.  That is the simple answer.  However, there is so much more to the answer, and at her age my daughter wouldn't understand it all, but I felt like I needed to write my answer down so I can remember the answer when she is old enough to grasp it.

Baseball can be a metaphor for life.  The field is precisely measured and very green and pretty, but the action on it can be chaotic.  The action is sometimes nonexistent, but then can happen at lighting speed.  The field starts from a single point, home plate, and fans out.  All the action starts from this one point, gets knocked around in the field, and comes back to this one point.  The players are all trying to get home.  It is the only game where the defense has the ball.  There is always tension, and a power struggle between two players, and in those seemingly quiet still moments there is a tremendous amount of action as we wait for the pitch.

Baseball is a great social outing.  As we watched the game there was a couple behind us that were on a date.  The girl didn't understand the rules of the game, and the guy was ever so happy to explain them to her, and she just loved his explanations.  Baseballs inherent structure, and pace allows time for conversation, which is the cornerstone of a great social event.

Baseball, like so many other events, is an escape.  I played baseball growing up, and my father coached me.  As I watch a game I am always taken back to an idealized time in my life when things were better and easier.  In the rough times of my life baseball always gave me, and my father something to talk about.

When my oldest daughter asked me why I liked baseball this is what I wanted to say, but I said, "I like it because I used to play, and it is relaxing."  She looked at me and said, "You still play.  With me in the back yard."  Yes I do.  The youngest got up the next day and asked "can we go to the soccer ball?"  She repeated the question several times before her mom and I realized she was talking about the baseball game.  We began to ask her questions about the ball-game, and were shocked when she could tell us some of the things that happened in the game.  I just thought they went for the snacks.

I am glad they liked the game, and the snacks.

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