I Love Baseball!
I guess I love baseball because it was engrained in me at an early age. My Dad always had a baseball game on if there was one on TV. This was in the late ’60s and early ’70s. We only had 3 TV channels at that time so, there wasn’t much to choose from. We had the afternoon game on Saturday afternoon and that was about it. I remember St. Louis Cardinals being on a bunch for some reason. I also remember the Cincinnati Reds. I love baseball for so many reasons. It reminds me of my childhood, when I would wait all year for baseball season to roll around. I couldn’t wait to get out there and play. My Dad and his best friend were coaches of our Little League team. I remember them being out there working with the kids and taking someone who had a weakness, whether it was ground balls, fly balls, hitting, throwing, or whatever their general weakness was and running drill after drill after drill with them. We didn’t have baseball year ’round like we do now with the travel teams. We played for a couple of months and then had All Stars and then, basically, my playing was over for a year. I didn’t have brothers close to my age to play in the yard and by the time I got to the point where my Dad could help me, he had stopped coaching. I remember laying in my bed at night, listening to a game on the AM radio with the crackling and dreaming about playing in a big stadium under the lights. Sometimes it would be a college game and sometimes it would be a pro game. At night you could pick up stations broadcasting the games from a long way off. I can distinctly remember laying there at night and thinking, I Love Baseball!! As I grew up, I played Pony League, Palmetto Minors, Palmetto Majors and eventually High School. I even played during the Summers with the “Semi-Pro League” as they called it when I could on Sunday afternoons when I didn’t have to work. It was so much fun. My talent didn’t improve enough for me to play in College, although I made a team. I knew I wouldn’t go pro and I had to concentrate on my degree, but I Love Baseball still.
I Love Baseball – A Great Team Sport
One of the reasons I love baseball is because you can’t hide. I remember my Dad saying, if you get out there and you aren’t paying attention to every pitch, the ball WILL find you. I remember him saying, you should be wanting that batter to hit it to you so you can make a play because you know you can do it. Don’t hope they hit it somewhere else. Hope they hit it to you. When that ball is hit to you, it’s all you and you have to make that play. When you are at the plate hitting, it’s all you and you have to hit the ball. There is no help from teammates. They are depending on you to make an individual play so the team can prosper. If you don’t make the play, especially in a critical situation, it could cost the team the game. I’ve seen games where one error, one strikeout, one walk literally cost the game. I’ve also seen games and you have too, where a guy walks to the plate, no one expects him to hit the ball, but he makes contact and drives in the winning run, AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!! I love baseball because you never know what’s going to happen. You don’t expect to see it. It’s an amazing thing. With any team, you are only as strong as your weakest player. In baseball, that is especially true because, as I said, when you least expect it or if you aren’t ready, the ball will find you and then, you have no place to hide.
I Love Baseball because of the Life Lessons
I guess it’s no secret that I love The University of South Carolina Baseball. I’ve especially enjoyed it the past 3 years with back to back championships in 2010 and 2011 and they ended up as Runners-Up in 2012. Starting in College and on into the pros, they play Series. They typically play 3 games with the same team. The mantra is “Win the Series”. If you win the Series every time, you win the Championship. You can’t get down when you don’t do well in a particular game. There is another game to play against the same team. Win the Series. You typically get to bat 3 or 4 times a game, depending on how it plays out. If you strikeout, there will be another at bat. Get it out of your head and hit the next one. If you make an error, shake it off and make the next play. But the real reason I love baseball is, it ain’t over ’til it’s over. Sure, there are rainouts and shortened games, but the last out has to be made. It doesn’t matter what the score is. In a 9 inning game, the other team has to get you out 27 times. Baseball is a game of outs. It’s also the only game where the defense is in “control” of the ball. The other team can get you out 26 times, but they have to make that last out and if you are losing 30 to 0 and you can score 31 runs before they get you out again, you win. I love that about the game. You aren’t competing against the clock and the other team, you are competing against the other team. Those are a lot of the reasons why I Love Baseball!!