The Crack of the Bat

I don’t know what I like more, the smell of the grass or the smell of the hot dogs.  Even a frosty beer has that aroma to it, though I’ve become quite a beer snob as of late and ballparks don’t serve good beer.  Or as I like to call it…beer.

Ooohhh, I like the smell of roasted peanuts too.  They aren’t warm like they should be, but it’s still really cool when the guy tosses you a bag from twelve seats over.

Ok, maybe I can’t smell the grass.  Maybe that smell gets carried over from a warm, summer afternoon when the lawn gets mowed and that vibrant smell of a lazy afternoon comes wafting through the air and the only thing left to do is grab an ice cold glass of lemonade and sit under a tree.  But I digress…

I was talking about being at a baseball game.

The lights, the warm night air.  The ambient noise of the crowd.  The drunk guy sitting in G-9.  Oops…I slipped into a memory of a Dodger game.  Pardon…

The joy of going to a baseball game fills my every sense, and reminds me of my childhood.  Even now, as a (cough, cough) grown adult I still get a thrill walking up the steps and having the field spread out before me.  It is a magical arena.

For me, going to a baseball game is more than just going to a game.  It is an experience.  Each ballpark is different.  There is a respectful nod to architecture that makes exploring new parks so much fun.  Baseball relishes in being different.  But even more than that, it is about being at the park.

Baseball is a family experience.  It’s a perfect date night destination.  The park is welcoming to even mild fans of the game who’d prefer to chat or even read a book than to loyally record each out on their score sheet.  There are intricacies of the game that are present with every pitch that fans such as me analyze and discuss.  For any fan the crowd or the park or the concessions make a nice distraction and a wonderful night out.  Day games are a fun way to work on the tan…too.

But when the crack of the bat echoes between the lines, the crowd tenses and all eyes focus on the game.  The conversations pause, the texting ceases and that guy in front of you carrying six beers in his hands and one in his teeth stops to see what happens next.  A game tying home run whips the crowd into a frenzy.  A diving catch amazes those who thought they’d seen it all.  An inning ending double play saves the lead and allows everyone to finally breathe yet again.

It all comes together in that one moment.  Thousands of people together enjoying a night out.

After months of the sun setting early, days and nights filled with cold or rain or snow, the summer opens up and spreads a blanket of warmth over everything.  Schools are out.  Vacations are taken.  Mother Nature smiles brightly and welcomes everyone outside to enjoy her beauty.

And what better way to do that than relaxing at the park…at a ballgame.

10 responses to “The Crack of the Bat

  1. I love this post, Greg! Did you grow up in the midwest? I have such fond memories of baseball games where the neighboring small town would take our team on and the whole town came out to cheer our humble team in rural Kansas. When I tell people I’m a baseball fan, I get some strange looks sometimes. Maybe folks like the bravado of football and think a baseball game is too slow. Not me. Thanks for taking me back in time today 🙂

    • You’re welcome Gina!!

      I was raised in Southern California, but in a Midwest household. My dad is from Missouri, my mom from Illinois. I spent MANY summers visiting family in Illinois growing up. But I have fond memories of baseball here in LA. We went to a lot of Dodger and Angel games. Plus my brother and I both played when we were kids. My dad played for a long time. He and my brother are both football fans as well, but during the summer we spent time together watching baseball.

      For me it is such a majestic game. It’s a cerebral game. And the experience, like I noted, is more than just the game. It is the experience…

      I’m glad I could take you back.

  2. Bravo! Made me feel like I was at the ball park right now enjoying all that you described. I could see it through your eyes and smell what you smelled. You made it real and enjoyable, and I’m not a baseball fan. Thank You!

  3. Wow. I haven’t been to a ball game since I was a kid (well, maybe early 20s but I think that still qualifies, actually!), but your post brought it all crashing back. I love that moment of suspense, delicious tension when the pitch is released and just for a second anything can happen. I’d completely, completely forgotten that feeling. Thanks so much for the trip down memory lane!

    • You’re welcome Jackie!! I think Baseball, more than any other sport creates that tension and suspense consistently throughout the game. I’m really happy that you enjoyed it!

    • I thought that you might. And since OUR Cubbies aren’t doing so hot right now, I thought a few fond memories might do us some good! 🙂 Hope all is well with you…Have a FANTASTIC weekend!!

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