Opening day of baseball season 2006 has arrived, and here I sit, thousands of miles away from the closest baseball game. We have somewhere around nine sports channels on our satellite service – none of which are airing, or planning to air, any baseball. You could spend your whole life in
I was born in the shadow of the defeat of the Baltimore Orioles to the New York Mets in the legendary 1969 World Series. I should have known that being born into an O’s loving family in the wake of that loss would prove ominous for my life – if only I had seen my first days at the same time a year later, success would have been mine. All the same, I learned to love baseball, and growing up I knew the names Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer, Cal Ripkin, and Earl Weaver as readily as I knew the names of crooked and clumsy Presidents. The year the O’s met my favorite National League team in the World Series was the zenith of my baseball fandom. My newly acquired hero, Rick Dempsey, helped win the show in 1983, and my used-to-be hero, Pete Rose, would take a dive a few years later, banished from baseball forever (eh, so he had already retired, anyway). 1983 was the year I got to meet Rick Dempsey, and I saw Eddie Murray’s ass in the O’s locker room. By the time ol’ easy out
Still, I can’t help but feel a gentle stirring in my heart when spring days grow warm. In the distance I imagine the crack of the bat, the cheer of the crowd, the excitement of a player sliding into home. I can smell the hotdogs, the spilled beer, and Boog Powell’s barbecue. If I close my eyes I can see Camden Yards opening up before me, the Bromoseltzer clock tower poised ahead. One breath and I can feel the excitement as the game begins. Baseball has a mystical, ethereal quality that is inexplicable. No other sport has had so many legends and myths surrounding it. No other sport feels the way baseball feels – the sounds, the smells, the aura. I do miss baseball, although it will never feel the same as it did on a cool summer evening in 1983.