Thursday, 27 September 2007

Basesball as a Metaphor

I love baseball. Baseball is life.

One of my favourite memories of my childhood is going to the minor league Denver Bears games at the Old Mile High Stadium which also doubled as the football stadium for the Denver Broncos before the new stadium was built.

September is my favourite time of year largely because it is the time of year that marks the race for the pennant. The last trades have been made weeks ago and the teams are what they are. Players play through the pain of their injuries. They play through the fatigue of a season that starts back in March/April with spring training and runs for nearly every day during the summer with the exception of travel days (2/week) and the All Star break week. Every game counts. Every at bat counts. Every pitch counts.

Baseball is a metaphor for life. Large periods of inactivity with intermittent short bursts of pure toe curling, thrilling, excitement. A whole bunch of people doing their individual best benefiting the overall team. The lazy days of summer make way for the dash to the World Series and only the best will make the cut.

Bring on the World Series!

8 comments:

Janell said...

GO CUBS!

barabas said...

That's pretty deep, I just love a good pitcher's duel. I am a huge baseball fan. Love my Cleveland Indians who won the central and will be playing the Yanks in the divisional playofs.

LaDawn said...

I have loved the Chicago Cubs since the beginning of time. I have loved the Boston Red Sox for nearly that long. When Colorado got the Rockies I was one of the first to buy season tickets and planned my entire work schedule around the home game schedule. It is one of the things I miss most about living in Colorado!

You can imagine what a thrilled fan I am right now!

barabas said...

I can't figure out your obsession with the Cubs? Did you guys live in Chicago at one point?

To that end, I have an interesting story. When I first moved to Chi in Early 2003 we made it a point to go to several cubs games (Only for the atmosphere, not because we were fans). Murphy's bleachers were a blast and the feel of the ball park is like none other.

At any rate, this was our third game and we were running late. The date was Friday July 11th, and the cubs were playing the braves. I remember this well, because I am staring at the ticket stub as I type this. So the first inning had already started, I can't remember if it was bottom or top of the first. But as we were walking around the park to the entrance, we had to pass the left field bleachers.

My wife said, "you are going to catch a ball" pointing at me. I brushed it off, thinking she had one too many already. Sure enough, a ball came flying over the wall and landed in the tree behind us. There was already a large crowd of people standing there with gloves waiting for a ball. Its kind of cool to watch them.

This home run went directly into a fern tree we were passing by and everyone scrambled for the ball. I tried to get out of the way, and the tree re-directed the ball and it fell from the tree and bounced directly in front of me. I caught it on the first bounce and everyone who had been patiently waiting was stunned! I grabbed the ball and screamed "YEAH!!!!!!..Woo hoo!!!!!!". Then quietly went about my business to finish my beer (which I had in one hand when I caught the ball). Some kid, along the way, asked me for the ball, and you may think this is mean, but I would not let him have it. I let him hold it, but he had to give it back.

Then entered the ball park. The game was actually pretty boring after that experience. We had great seats, which we paid over $100 per ticket for, but it was worth it. Why? Because to our amazement, we saw Tommy Lasorda sitting about 5 rows infront of us on the first base side. Everyone yelled "Tommy!!! Tommy!!! Looking good Mr. Slimfast!!!!

That was a lot of fun. I have the ball encased in my office desk with the ticket. Unfortunately, we are still not cubs fans, rather we are wrigley field fans. That's pretty much chicago.

People go to wrigley, mostly, as a tourist attraction. That's why the field is sold out even when the cubs sucks (which is most years).

Go tribe! (Indians)..

Janell said...

Great story, Joe! I'm a Cubs fan because I have a heart for the underdog; or so my husband tells me. You know, when you get moved to Chicago, you'll only be about 8 hours drive from me. Bring that ball out and show it to me! Do you know who hit it?

Stephanie said...

Joe,
I echo your thoughts abouts Wrigley. On one of my trips to Chicago, I took the L to Wrigley and enjoyed a game by myself. It was great! -Stephanie

LaDawn said...

The Denver Bears were a minor league team for the Chicago Cubs. I used to love to follow the stars on the minor team as they matured on the big screen of my television. I would tell everyone I saw them play when they were with the Bears.

I've seen several games at Wrigley Field and it is THE best place to watch a ball game. Even if the outfield is oddly shaped.

As a young girl I suppose the Cubs sounds a wee bit cute, so maybe I liked it that way.

Not sure you could ever hope to understand someone's baseball fanaticism for one particular team or another. Many people adopt it from their hometown or father. My hometown didn't have a major league team and my father is not a baseball fan.

The first major league game I ever went to was an Anaheim Angels game. I went with a couple guys I worked with when I we were working in CA. I will never ever forget that night. I was thrilled just to be there. But I didn't become an Angels fan (thank god!).

Oh and I loved Ryne Sandberg.

barabas said...

Sorry I disappeared over the weekend, had a wedding in Baltimore.

To this day, I don't know who hit that ball.

Good baseball posts!