For those of us who love baseball, there is no other sport like it. The team, the game, the players, the ballpark, the announcers, the fans, the traditions, they all go into what makes baseball so great.
For those who don't love baseball, it's always the same complaint. "It's too slow."
Not for me. I am on the edge of my seat throughout a baseball game, and sometimes the tension rises so much when I am watching a game on television that I have to leave the room. We can never be enough runs ahead to be complacent. The game can turn so quickly, and a 4-0 lead can become
a 4-6 loss.
I've heard it said that baseball is the quintessential American sport. Players are on a team, yet each individual at bat has the power to change the entire course of the game. Besides that, you score when you run home, how sweet is that!
Going to the ballpark is such a great experience too, the food, the fans, the afternoon in the sun, or evening under the stars. But baseball is also great on the radio. The announcers make the experience of listening so wonderful, and all of the background crowd noises add to the excitement. Televised baseball is another experience, seeing the players up close and personal, watching a replay or the reaction in the dugout.
I thank my mom more than anyone else for my love of baseball. When I was a little girl, the San Francisco Giants had "Ladies Day" on Thursday home games. The games had a special reduced rate, which may have been as low as a dollar. My mom, her best friend, Marie, Marie's son, Glen, and I would all board the muni bus for the long ride out to Candlestick Park and a wonderful day at the game.
Our new ballpark in San Francisco is very beautiful, with a terrific view of the water and boats, great food and atmosphere. But Ladies Day is a thing of the past, of course. Going to the ballpark, especially with a family, is terrifically expensive now.
I had a neighbor who was from Germany. Her husband was a scientist at a local bio tech firm, and she knew many other European ladies who were also in the USA because of their husbands' jobs. The ladies were from Poland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Turkey, Spain, Belgium. They sometimes asked me to join them on outings. Baseball was such a mystery to them. They all hated it and were particularly incensed by the World Series.
"How can they call it the "world" series?" one would complain.
"I know," another would say. "Soccer is the only game."
"And the World Cup actually invites the world."
"Besides, it's so slow."
I tried to explain but soon gave up. They were never going to understand because even though they lived here for years. The World Series is such an American concept. The biggest, the best,the greatest, the World Series.
The San Francisco Giants had a mediocre season this year. But that's okay, there's always next year. Because, after all, What would life be without baseball?