By FRANK DESORBO
“Take me out to the ball game” is definitely where we are for 2021. More sports outside for us to get us away from the indoor virus blues. The sports pages are listed with so many events on the TV. Well, shut off the TV, put down your smart phones and get outside for some of your own live sports viewing and sports talk.
Baseball, the national pastime, should bring us out into the good old fresh air and let our minds escape from worldly issues. Have you tried to buy a pack of baseball cards? Lately, the sale of baseball cards of past Major League Players is a big market again. Topps baseball cards are the leader of the host of card companies. They are the only baseball card company that can use the MLB image. Take some time and review your own cards. If you don’t have any, then check out a sports card convention.
Baseball is so comforting to watch outdoors. Live baseball needs to stay alive. A cool summer day watching kids at any age, even 50-year-olds, will take you back in time and return to the current moment, all at once.
Baseball is still the leader in the sports that have “ball” in their name. The popular sports are baseball, football and basketball. Think of this but do not use your smart phone: There are many sports that are played with a ball but, ball is not in the sport’s name. Popularity rings loud with golfers, bowlers, tennis players, and how can we leave off soccer? Groucho Marx once asked the question, “What sport uses tennis balls?” Now turn to sports that don’t use a ball. Most popular is hockey, but do not repeat that to race car drivers, horse jockeys or wrestlers. Again, no smart phones allowed.
Baseball is the only ball sport that you score runs (or points) when you do not control the ball and the team is on offense. The team on defense can throw the ball 90 miles an hour, make great plays on the field or just stand in place for whole innings waiting to get a chance to touch the ball. Some say baseball is too much standing, sitting and the players watching. Think of the conversations in the bullpen. There should be more books on the life of a bullpen pitcher. However, it is the one sport that a team’s “hero” today is sulking as a “goat” tomorrow – a most common emotion for bullpen pitchers. But you always come back to play another day.
Baseball had survived for years amid its controversy and heated discussions. Baseball has endured from the Black Stock Scandal in 1919, the Negro Leagues, the drug issues, the video cheating, and Pete Rose is still not in the Hall of Fame. But it still endured, and it is America’s dream from the first swing of a bat to when “pitch and catch” is only a senior citizen’s memory. This summer, sing the song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Tell the kids you will buy them a box of Cracker Jacks.
The author is a Capital District resident and freelance writer and guest speaker.