admit, with a twinge of embarrassment, that the first time I heard “Take me out to the ball game,” I thought it was about bowling. Clearly, I didn’t come from a baseball family.
Baseball is a puzzling activity to say the least. A player can fail 70 percent of the time at bat and still be considered amazingly successful; the strike zone is arguably a matter of opinion; and game lengths can range from 50 minutes to more than 8 hours. Baseball, you are a mysterious creature.
It was with a bit of resentment and a healthy amount of denial that I let baseball creep into my psyche. I credit Heath, a jilted high school baseball player who, over the years, has offered up knowledge of the fundamentals combined with an introductory history that is on par with survey college courses. Then there was my intramural softball league that had me sneaking peeks of games during my downtime in the hopes of subconsciously absorbing some of the players’ best practice methods. Pair that with the recent success and charismatic roster of the Texas Rangers and it seems that baseball may have something to offer.
I recently caught wind of the first portion of Ken Burns’ 4-hour documentary, The 10th Inning which aired tonight on PBS. Within minutes of watching highlights and listening to first-hand commentary of baseball’s greatest moments, I was both tingling with excitement and on the verge of tears. I was moved by the passion of the athletes, the enthusiasm of the fans and the rich history that is upward of 150 years. After years of skepticism I suppose it is time to come to terms with the inevitable, I like baseball.
[Heath and me at the Rangers/Yankees baseball game in early September]