I’m going to a ballgame tonight!
No, I’m not traveling down to San Francisco to hit up AT&T Park-the Giants are on their way to Tampa Bay to play the Rays. I am going down to Harwood Park to take in the adult baseball league, which features a double header every Tuesday and Thursday this summer, and concludes with a set of playoff games that rivals major league baseball.
Maybe you must attend a meeting in a small office, with a dozen coworkers. Possibly you hate tunnels, basements, cellars, subways, hotel rooms with windows that don’t open, airplanes, automatic car washes or having an MRI done. In extreme cases you might have commitment issues.
Or maybe you just can’t sit in the middle of the crowd at AT&T Park anymore, and take in a ballgame. It has always been a struggle for me, but with the right amount of cannabis, and various other enablers, I could make it through. I no longer even make the effort.
I have loved the game of baseball since I was a young kid growing up in the San Gabriel Valley in SoCal. I played it every day in the summer, and listened to Vin Scully broadcast the Dodger games in the balmy summer nights.
I played it until I blew out my left knee in 1991, but now that I am 63, I no longer regret not being able to get out on the diamond anymore. It comes with the territory. I still love to watch the game, but not necessarily for the same reason that most watch it.
I am not a fan of the offense, so much as I appreciate good defense. Hitting the ball hard, while extremely challenging to do, is still not what really floats my boat. I want to see what happens on the other end of the action-I want to see where the ball ends up.
I used to be a defensive specialist; I could catch any fly ball hit within my vicinity, which was left field. I was fast and I have quick reflexes, a combination which gives an outfielder a leg up on many. Whereas hitting laser-beam line-drives is an impressive skill, being able to catch them is even more epic-to me.
Most importantly, you do not have to be a big kid to have a big glove.
I don’t care what level of baseball I am watching, I am bound to see a few good plays. Of course there are occasionally balls that are bobbled and there are balls that are misplayed, but there is always some excellent glove work displayed, and that’s what I am willing to pay the big bucks to see.
I also enjoy a good rivalry, like the one between the Giants and the Dodgers, or between the Bell Springs Bombers and the Layton Villains. Last week Annie and I got to see the Bombers fall behind by a score of 7-1, in the third inning, before coming back to seize a 14-11 win.
Last season the Villains went undefeated and took the inaugural championship in our local league, back when there were only six teams. Now there are eight and they all hail from the area around the ‘Ville.
I can attend the games and sit on the left side, without having to feel as though I am hemmed in by the masses. I can visit with friends, take a few pics, avoid a lot of traffic and see some good baseball, without having to put up with the pitfalls of AT&T Park.
I can’t see Buster Posey or Madison Bumgarner down in the ‘Ville, but then again, I don’t have to go down to AT&T Park to watch the Bombers and Villains play.