The Beauty of Baseball

Posted: March 1, 2012 in MLB
Tags: , ,

Pitchers and catchers report. It is music to my ears.

It’s a generational thing. I understand that. In today’s world, late February means NFL free agency is about to begin. It means the NFL combine is at hand and it’s time to start arguing about the college draft.

But for me, it means spring is near. It means hearing the crack of the bat, the smack of the baseball hitting the glove. I still remember the smell of a new baseball fresh out of the box.

I love baseball for all of the reasons most of you don’t. I love the pace of the game. It’s the only team game that doesn’t utilize a clock. You’re never assured of victory until the last out. You’re never beaten until the last strike. Both teams get the same number of opportunities.

I love the fact that success means making it home.

I’m still amazed at how the founders’ of the game knew to put the pitching mound 60 feet and 6 inches from home plate. If the distance was 62 feet, wouldn’t all of curve balls crash into the dirt in front of the plate? How’d they know it should be 90 feet between the bases? Imagine how many more infield hits there’d be if the distance was 89 feet. Imagine how rare those infield hits would be if the distance was 91 feet?

I love the fact baseball players come in all sizes. Great players are tall, short and average in height. Great players are thin, thick and average. Great pitchers aren’t produced from a cookie cutter mold. Some throw the ball hard; others make it dance.

Baseball is a game of skills, not speed and strength. Except for American League pitchers and designated hitters, it’s a game where every player must play offense AND defense. I love the fact there is no such thing as go-to players. Circumstances determine who bats in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded and your team behind. Circumstances determine who is asked to make the key defensive play. It is a team game with great one-to-one individual battles: pitcher vs. hitter; catcher vs. base runner.

Even the ball parks come in different sizes. Is anything more beautiful than Wrigley Field? Is anything more majestic than Yankee Stadium? A home run at Fenway Park is a routine fly ball at Busch Stadium.

No preseason in any sport touches Spring Training when tickets prices are reasonable and the players are almost close enough to touch.

Sure, it’s a long season. That means more games to love.

 

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