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jueves, mayo 04, 2006

Take Me Out

Today is May 4, 2006. It's warm out. Trees have small leaves. It may be 78 degrees today. Which brings me to baseball. The season has begun. The Mets are playing well (after all these years). And the sound of the game on the radio brings me back to memories of being 9, the perfect age for enjoyment of baseball.

9 is the age of baseball cards. The age of little league. The age of being taken to a game by a parent or grandparent. The age of wearing a baseball cap to school. The age of becoming a fan. The seventh inning stretch. The age of "take me out to the ball game." The astonishment of statistics about batting and pitching, and the justice of the infield fly rule. And it reminds me of the sound of the game at the ball park, the sound of ball on bat, ball on catcher's mit, the venders, the roar of the crowd. It reminds me also of the radio playing in the background on a warm evening. It reminds me of Ebbets Field and that day in 1956 when I found out that my beloved Dodgers were moving to California. In short, puppy love and abrupt betrayal.

It also reminds me of my first heroes, major league ball players. Heroes like Roy Campanella, a catcher and nevertheless the National League MVP in 1951, 1953 and 1955. A Hall of Famer. A man whose last game was the last game at Ebbets Field. The guy who made being a catcher a revered position and not the human personification of a school playground wall.

Remembrance of all of this is brings back innocence and simplicity. Am I listening to the games because I actually like them, or is it because it returns me to the delight of my 9 year old dreamworld?