Yesterday, someone asked me why I love baseball so much. At first, I thought what a stupid question! Why wouldn’t I love baseball? However, I started to think, what is it that keeps my eyes glued to every pitch?
I kind of realized with this blog I went into this huge rant of why I love the Yankees and forgot to mention why I loved the sport of baseball in the first place. Of course, my Dad is a huge reason why I love baseball. Not living in New York, of course, made my Dad watch every game on TV. Baseball was always there. It was always on in my house.
I remember going to my first professional baseball game. I loved the smell of the ballpark, as weird as that sounds. I loved everything about it. I think the real obsession started at the local library. You could rent one movie a week for free. Every week I would go get “The Sandlot” and then rent it again the next week. It was, hands down, my favorite movie. I knew every line. My favorite part was when Babe Ruth comes up (no biased at all) and says “Heroes get remembered but legends never die. Follow your heart kid and you’ll never go wrong.”
One of my best friends died when he was only 10 years old. He dedicated his entire young life to baseball. It was his passion and even though I often dreaded going to so many of his games, once I was there and saw how much he loved the game I couldn’t help but get excited. It was very fitting that there is a field named after him. After he died, baseball was something to turn to for all of us. Baseball was the thing that made him the happiest and in times that were so happy we needed baseball (or softball) to keep us going.
I think I got so caught up in the fact that I had to defend my team so much that I forgot the reason why I fell in love with baseball in the first place. I was quickly reminded at my nephew’s t-ball game last spring. Seeing him get so excited and absorbing the information made my heart warm. That precious child promising me he would get me a homerun made baseball less of just a sport and more of a passionate love. He got me that homerun too and won game ball. I have never seen him so happy and proud of himself. That’s why I love baseball. Baseball to me is seeing my nephew get a homerun. It’s funny how I saw almost that EXACT same smile on Derek Jeter’s face as he got 3,000 hits. That smile is baseball to me. “You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.”