Thursday, April 07, 2016
baseball is back
baseball is back. and all seems well in my soul.
i know i have written here countless times about the beauty of the game, but i just can't resist saying something once again this spring. two nights ago i listened to the radio broadcast of the pittsburgh pirates extra-inning walk-off win against their rivals, the cardinals, and the tinny sound of the broadcaster's voices, supported by the the orchestra of the crowd - swelling in crescendo for each possible hit and reacting to every ball and strike; the sounds of the stadium organ, the crack of the bat, the crush of the ball against the catcher's mitt: all of this is a symphony of sport that is sweet, sweet music to me. like any music, it can - and does - transport me to another time, hiding under the sheets at 10 years old, listening to the pirates on WAMB, hoping that nobody else could hear the tinny sound of that little radio. like any music, it moves me and speaks to me and comforts me and calls me to get lost in its rhythms and harmonies and syncopations. it is beautiful, and i am so, SO glad that it is finally back, that i am tapping my foot to the beat, and standing up to dance under its melodious spell. it seems so silly in a way, that a goofy little game like this can cause such a stirring in me, and enrapture me to such heights. but it does. i cannot, and will not, deny it. i chalk it up to being human: that i am designed by my maker to enjoy the good things in life, to be touched deeply at the sounds and smells and sights and tastes and feelings that are good and right. in other words, we were wired to enjoy life, in every way that life comes to us. for me, life has often manifested itself in the striking emerald green of a baseball diamond, occupied by men in uniform, just trying to get home. and yes, it is only a game, but playing games is also part of the way we were designed by our Creator: it's one of the ways we rest and learn and discover and build relationship. the apostle paul said that we should make sure we are thinking on things that are good and noble and true and right. i supposed we could over-spiritualize that to try and say that paul meant we should only be thinking about sacrificial atonement theories and propitiation all day. or, we could understand that he was saying that there are good things - life-giving things - in the world, and there are things that rob us of life. we should allow ourselves to dwell on those things that offer us energy and hope and joy and good-ness. and for me, that most definitely includes baseball, and its sweet music, its statistics, its pop-flys and cans of corn, its double headers and double plays, its bunts and balks and bullpens. it is all baseball, and i love it.
baseball, thankfully, is back. and all seems well in my soul.