Truly happy memories from my childhood are a bit hard to come by, but one is being quite small on a glorious late spring day, sitting in the bleachers with my dad watching AAA baseball. Sorry all of you football fans, I'll take sunshine and the smack of bat on ball to a pile of behemoths crushing the ball beneath them.
It took a long time for professional baseball to reach California, but when it happened it was my beloved Brooklyn Dodgers. To this day, win or lose, the Dodgers can do no wrong. Even the recent drug scandals cannot dampen my love for baseball.
So Spring is coming on. The flowers will be blooming soon. The gentlemen in the nice baggy, comfortable uniforms will emerge from their respective dugouts for a duel in the sunshine, and I'll be there.
In a time of war, I have to echo George Carlin's positives on Baseball:
Baseball is played on a diamond, in a park!
Baseball begins in the spring, the season of new life.
In baseball you wear a cap.
Baseball is concerned with ups. "Who's up? Are you up? I'm not up! He's up!"
In baseball you make an error.
In baseball the specialist comes in to relieve somebody.
Baseball has the sacrifice.
In baseball if it rains, we don't go out to play.
Baseball has the seventh-inning stretch.
Baseball has no time limit: "We don't know when it's gonna end!"
In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe! "I hope I'll be safe at home!"
The clip below is from "Take Me Out To the Ballgame" - a nice bit of musical fluff starring Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Esther Williams. There are any number of movies, plays, and musicals where the central theme is baseball covering the whole range of human emotions and events from comedy to tragedy. The list would be too much to put here, but google "baseball movies" and your DVD player will be playing for a long, long time.
For more on the history of Baseball and information on its greatest players, visit the Baseball Hall of Fame which elected its first inductees on January 29, 1936.