I know for whatever reason a lot of folks out there aren’t sports fans, and there are those who find that baseball is too slow a sport for their liking. Sports have always held very special place in my life, but none more so than our nation’s pastime. I think the following succinctly describes my thoughts:
“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” -Rogers Hornsby
It’s a “chicken before the egg-or egg before the chicken” type of debate for me when it comes to baseball and spring. I’m not sure which makes me more excited and brings on a renewed vigor and interest. I’m sure both play a part in ending my cold weather/winter “blahs”.
Midwestern winters are tough on my psyche, as grey-hued days turn into pitch black nights. I’m a misplaced tropical animal who simply endures winter weather, waiting for spring and the hopefulness that accompanies it.
As a lifetime Chicago Cubs fan, spring always brings the excitement that maybe this one will be “the year” that a World Series title will return to the north side of Chicago for the first time since 1908. Granted, most years that dream is crushed by the end of April, but a guy can dream. For the first time since 2004, I have a team to pull for that actually has the pieces to pull off that kind of postseason run.
The middle sugar donut has been infected by the baseball bug as well. He started at the age of three in a T-ball league and was as cute as possible with his own personal “hall of fame” display of his baseball equipment at the end of the season.
Just like his dad, one of his favorite movies is “The Sandlot”, and he can watch it non-stop. While I’m waiting to introduce him to “Major League”, he enjoyed “A League of Their Own” and will randomly remind me that there’s no crying in baseball. From about March through the first week of November, he asks to sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” with the same phrasing and rate of Harry Caray as his bedtime song.
Since Mrs. Donut and I started talking about having a family, I’ve had the fatherly dream of playing catch with my son. This dream has become a reality and he catches the ball a good part of the time. He’s been to a lot of minor league ballparks and games, and we were able to go to his first big league game in 2015.
This spring brings the promise of seeing him grow to love the game even more. This year he’ll get to play baseball for two teams, which adds to my excitement to see his development on the field as the season wears on. My little guy may not be the best athlete out there, but he’s mine. I couldn’t be more proud to be his father, and I love him more than he’ll ever know.
Spring brings the promise of days spent fishing, camping, and making plans for family vacations. Spring is a renewal of nature as migratory birds return and days lengthen while trees and flowers bloom. Green replaces grey.
At work, spring means more calls for service as people awake from cold weather induced hibernation. It means short sleeve shirts and a chance for night shift guys to see sunlight and wear sunglasses. It brings increased calls due to alcohol consumption and violence. It helps bring the chance to do things that we don’t enjoy, but end up being great stories afterward.
It may not be spring yet, but I’m as anxious for it as the guy who was waiting for us to tell him whether the girl he met online was at least 18 years old after he was caught having sex with her in his car.
Spring is a renewal of the world as I know it. Spring is hope. Spring offers the opportunity of this year being “the year” on and off the diamond for us all.
For those of you that are Cubs fans or are just looking for a sweet shirt that supports a good cause, check out http://www.korkedbaseball.com/collections/mens/products/trynottosuckcubsshirt to support Joe Maddon’s Respect 90 Foundation.
Time to go patrol the Donut…