Monday, April 1, 2013

Play Ball!

Well, today is April Fool's day. Did anyone get ya? I don't participate. It seems mean to me. So, instead of an April Fool's post, lets discuss baseball. Why?

If you're asking why you probably don't care much for baseball. It's opening day for many, many teams today. Shame on you. You should know that.

I can't help but think back to my baseball education which came from my best friend's mom in high school. Betcha didn't see that coming, huh? I didn't grow up in a baseball family and so I always thought it was kind of boring. And, frankly, it kind of still is. (Sorry Bonnie...) I do get a touch of baseball fever every opening day. I remember my very first opening day ever.

(Image from here)
Dodger stadium. Sophomore year. There was a long car-ride from south Orange County to Los Angeles. There was carsickness. (I didn't quite understand the urgency of "Amy, move, now." until there was a retching boy hanging out of the mini van.) There was the super steep stadium that induced vertigo. There was sunburn. There were Dodger Dogs.

And there was baseball.

I have no idea who played (besides the Dodgers...duh). I have no idea if the Dodgers won. Hey, it was a learning experience. I didn't think I'd be quizzed on it.

When we got to the stadium we bought our programs. Cyndi said it was a must and that she and her mom would teach me to keep score. That seemed so foreign to me. I'd been to baseball games before. I knew there was a very large scoreboard that was maintained by people who were paid to count strikes and outs and runs. Cyndi told me I'd understand when the game started.


Have you ever scored a game? It is really complex. I had no idea that the game I could "watch" and miss four or seven innings could actually have so much going on. It turns out that keeping score is an excellent way to keep yourself from missing an entire game because you're busy chatting. It is a necessary way to, well, keep your eye on the ball.

That first opening day I got a basic education in baseball scoring. I learned to appreciate the game. Before it was just a guy with a bat- who would either hit the ball or not-- versus other guys who probably wouldn't have to move far to get the one guy out. This would go on at a painfully slow pace.

It turns out that baseball is actually kind of cerebral. There is a lot to it. It doesn't look like it, but there is. It might look like a guy with a stick who swings at a ball, but it is much more. Tradition. Strategy. And other stuff I don't get.

Are you a baseball fan? Do you score the game or find yourself chatting through the game?

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