Baseball is back. As Spring Training begins today, there is a special feeling in the air, as all the players report to their tropical destinations, on the freshly cut grass bathed in the sunlight, the sound of the ball slapping the baseball mitt gracing their ears, and the camaraderie of being with their teammates (their family until November). Now the fans can celebrate as well, after all this game is about us just as much as about them.
While for the players, baseball provides a means of employment and a lifestyle, for the fans everywhere it represents so much more. It is a way to spend a summer afternoon with the family at the ballpark, a reason to go to a bar with your best friends, a national sense of unity, a way to make friends, and a phenomenal conversation starter. Baseball creates heroes, immortalizing ordinary people into legends worthy of telling a bedtime story about. It picks us up when we are feeling down, creating distraction when life gets tough.
Baseball brings family together, creating bonds and memories. From the first time a dad and son play catch out in the yard, to your first baseball game with your dad or kids, bringing the trusty baseball mitt even though you’re in the nosebleed seats, praying for a foul ball to be hit up your way. It even allows for traditions to be born and adds items to the bucket list.
For instance, my dad, brother and I are trying to see a game in every Major League Baseball team’s stadium, which leads to baseball trips every summer. These trips show us different parts of the country, different people, but the same undying love for our National Pastime. Fenway Park in Boston, with its historic “Green Monster” wall out in left field, and “Yawkey Way” street outside the stadium, may differ from AT&T Park in San Francisco, with McCovey Cove and the kayakers paddling in the ocean behind the stadium in right field, but what unites these two places on different sides of the country is the people who fill the seats.
These people and this sport embody the same things that symbolize our great nation. The dream of making it big one day, the spirit of competition, and the moments you cherish while spending time with family and the ones you love. The majority of the American population may not think baseball is their favorite sport to watch, however it will always be this nations pastime, and I couldn’t be happier to welcome it back. Play Ball!