No matter how many times I walk into a major league ball park, I still am in awe of the power that this little ball and bat have over masses of people. It is a sacred sport among Americans, and it elicits memories of throwing the ball with my dad and striking out or hitting a home run in little league play. The major league sport, however has a slightly higher skill level involved than my little league experience. Obviously these athletes who are getting paid millions of dollars should be performing at the highest of standards. Even if the players (and the umps) aren’t performing to their highest potential, going to a stadium to watch a ball game is a worthy outing.
Despite the overcharged beer and hot dogs, I always have an amazing experience. Not because I care about the overall outcome of the game, but because I get to be part of a crowd that is solely focused on being witness to a couple people scratch their butt and itch their crotch. Baseball is a tirelessly slow affair where one half of an inning could last thirty minutes. But no one seams to mind the unending amount of pitches that get lobbed toward home plate, because everyone has a hope.
There are many things to hope for at a baseball game, but that is what keeps people coming back to be a part of something that they could sit through in the comfort of their lazy boy. I admit that I have always dreamed of seeing a pop fly come my direction and then diving in front of forty people or saving a small child by catching it at the last second. (I have yet to experience this) And everyone shares the hope that they will either see a huge comeback or a walk off home run.
The many things that keep me coming back to the major league stadiums remind me of a simpler, more youthful time. When all I had to care about was a ball and a bat. Now that all the things in my life have piled up and I have to think about a zillion different things in one day, it is a relief to only think about one thing. So I know that by going to the games I am supporting a business that is ludicrously compensating the athletes and owners, and that I could watch it at the leisure of my own sofa, but I continue to enjoy the outing. It is there that I get to be reminded of how to be young, and if that is the only reward of going I don’t care if I never get back, at the old ball game.