Wednesday, June 19, 2013

its not just baseball

 

One of my favorite things about this time of year is the abundance of baseball. Its on television every night, and on most nights driving around town you will see the glow of the lights on at the local ballpark.

You see, this sport has been a part of my life since before I can really remember. I grew up in a really small town. My mom is a teacher, my dad is an accountant, and they still live in the same North Carolina town that they raised my sister and I in. Growing up we lived just a quick two block walk from our town’s high school, and most nights during the summer my dad would walk us down to the baseball field behind the school to watch the American Legion games. We would usually wander back home before the game was over. I would crawl into bed far too awake, so I would lay there with the windows open listening to the announcer, the cheers of the crowd, and the crack of the bat. Those were some of my most favorite summer nights.

When I was in elementary school, my parents signed me up for softball. Coach pitch turned to slow pitch, which turned to fastpitch. I played for the middle school team, the varsity high school team, and a tournament team. At one point I was playing on four different teams. I attended camps, clinics, private pitching lessons. You name it, we did it. My days consisted of school, practice, sleep, games on weekends. I grew up at the ballpark, and I loved every minute of it. Looking back, those years were my favorite. It was fun, and exciting, and in the strangest of ways it was therapeutic. The crack of the ball on the bat, the thump of a perfect pitch in the catchers mit, it was comforting. I cannot tell you how many days I would come home frustrated from school and my dad and I would play a game of catch, re-hash my bad day, and 100% of the time after a few minutes of tossing the ball around I would have forgotten all about what had happened. 

Fast forward to college, and I met my husband, John. We instantly bonded over our love of sports. And long before we were actually dating we would meet each other at our college stadium to watch the games. It was not unusual at all for us to be driving by the field, see the lights on, and swing in to watch a few minutes of practice or scrimmage. We would talk strategy, rules, great plays, and big moments. And when we couldn’t talk baseball anymore, we just enjoyed each other’s company.

Some people say the game is boring or too slow. They like the excitement of sports like football, with their constant action. But me? Baseball is the perfect sport. Its appreciating the art of the perfect curve ball, the thrill of a squeeze play ending in your favor. Its the smells of hot dogs, popcorn, and freshly mowed grass all mixed into one, the hum of the big lights, and the intensity of perfect no hitter. 

With the College World Series on television right now, I find myself a bit nostalgic for those memories I have. And I have to say, I’ve looked forward each night to coming home, watching the games, and for just a little while being the John and Katie who didn’t have anything else to worry about besides who the Pirates played that weekend. It even has me itching to dig out my old glove and ball and wander outside for a game of catch.

Even before having kids was part of the picture, I knew I wanted to share my love of the sport with my sons and daughters, and now having Landon, I cannot wait to teach him how to catch a fly ball, perfect his swing, and learn the game that taught me so much about life, hard work, love, and everything in between.

1 comment:

  1. this is exactly how I feel about football at our house. although, I don't want Andrew to play football... I'm afraid of him getting hurt. :) I'd rather him play baseball. :)

    ReplyDelete

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