Friday, April 5, 2013

Play ball


By CHRIS MILLSPAUGH

Major League Baseball got underway this week with all 30 teams in action. I honestly didn’t think it would ever get here. I’m a happy man. I believe that whatever your problems in life are, they can be tabled for a while as you immerse yourself in watching or playing a game of baseball. There’s nothing like the sound of the crack of the bat and the smell of the manicured grass, which filters your senses and stimulates the hope that this year your favorite team will wind up in the World Series beginning in October.

One hundred and sixty-two games are played to determine which two teams will vie for the professional championship. Eighty-one are played by the National Basketball League to decide a champion and 16 are played in the National Football League to determine the winner of the Super Bowl. In baseball, you really have to be a die-hard fan because the season starts in April and lasts until November.

Young kids of 19 and 20 will play the sport alongside old veteran players of 40 and 41 at the highest level of its skills. If you’ve ever tried to hit a baseball thrown at 90 mph, you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve ever tracked down a fly ball hit more than 400 feet by reacting to the sound of the ball on the bat and running as fast as you can to the spot where you can catch it before it hits the ground or goes over the fence, you’ve been there. Then once you catch it, you must pivot and throw with all your might back to the infield and hit the cutoff man. It’s really an amazing feat.

Most of us have played the game in our youth and have retained fond memories. I played as a little kid and all though school and into the Air Force. I never tired of the game but I didn’t have the proper level of skills to go any further. So I became a guitar player with a lot of patter but didn’t have the proper skills or opportunity, so, I became a writer and wrote every day about things that amused me in life, hoping one day I’d attain the proper level of expertise to make The New York Times best seller list.

And, isn’t that what life is all about—trying and falling short and trying again? Play ball, folks, this could be your year.

Nice talking to you.




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