It’s grass cut and rolled in sharp, crisp lines in alternating directions leaving you with that magical two-tone finish you can never seem to replicate in your own yard. For a serious lawn jockey, trying to perfect that same look in his own yard it is impossible to pull off. It’s baseball.
It’s 25 men dressed to the nines in the same sharp uniforms with a common purpose. Outscore those other 25 guys sitting across the way before we’ve reached the final frame. 750 of the luckiest men in the world show up for work today to play a game. It’s baseball.
It’s the atmosphere that excites the senses. The smells of fresh grilled brats and sweet onions. Popcorn exploding in the kettle and falling to the bottom like confetti. It’s this vendor shouting “beer here, getchar ice-cold beer here” in one ear while the other is filled with “program, scorecard, program.” All being cast over the steady droning din of a crowd of thousands recalling last years magical moment or debating the decision to start Baker in left field instead of Hansen. “Don’t that manager know they’re throwing the lefty today?” It’s baseball
Crossing through the tunnel and into the bleachers sensory overload kicks into high gear. Now you can smell that grass full and clean. It truly is spring now isn’t it? Colorful dots sporting your teams colors slowly drifting about the seats across the infield. Fans, just like you, soaking in their first outing of the season are making their way to their seats. The ole ballpark looks great today. It’s baseball.
Fresh paint applied to those handrails that took a beating last season look brand new today. Stains from the dropped hot dog that was lost in the excitement of a game winning home run or the fallen ice cream cone lost from a youngsters hand because that 16 inning marathon last July ran long past his bedtime. The millions of peanut shells cast to the ground as the innings wore on. All washed away. It’s baseball.
On the field today’s opponent is finishing up bp but they all seem to be walking on air in this surreal setting. The air is interrupted with the occasional crack of a wooden bat hitting the rawhide ball stitched in red. Or the slap of that ball hitting leather. The red, white, and blue bunting hangs gracefully from the rafters swaying gently in the breeze. The crew is dressing down the field one last time. A shot of water to wet down the infield turning that tan dirt to a beautiful shade of brown. The stage is set, and the cast of characters exit the dugout and stand in perfectly straight lines as the PA announcer recites in his deep baritone those words I love to hear. “Ladies and gentlemen, please rise and remove your caps for the playing of our national anthem.” The time has come. The moment is here. It’s baseball. Let’s play.
Photos: Hank Greenberg – Baseball Digest
The United Countries of Baseball – bigthink.com