Anne in the Stands: Why I love baseball

Anne in the Stands: Why I love baseball

Anne in the Stands: Why I love baseball
1. It's a summer sport, and I'm a summer girl.

2. The players don't wear lots of padding and gear, so it''s possible to see what they look like.

3. As George Carlin noted (hilariously), baseball is played in a park, where the fans eat and drink as if they're on a picnic.

4. Some plays have enormous dimensions. For example, a home run can be launched more than 400 feet.

5. Unlike so many things in life (TV shows, school days, plane flights) there are no strict time limits. The clock ticks, but does not determine when the game ends.

6. You can arrive late, miss a couple of innings, and still see plenty of action.

7. The crowd is amicable. Over the years I've made some good friends, just by chatting (or grousing) about our favorite subject. The couple who have had the seats in front of mine for about ten years has seen my nephew grow from a tiny six-year-old who knew almost nothing about baseball to a towering college kid who loves the sport.

8. People are generous. Time and time again I've seen a fellow work hard to catch a foul ball and then offer it to the youngster nearby.

9. I love the vivid vocabulary, like ground rule double, run batted in, suicide squeeze, double switch, and off-speed pitch. I love the complicated rules. My favorite example would be the six ways a batter can get to first base without getting a hit.

10. Following the sport also requires reading the statistics for each game, beginning with batting averages and earned run averages. This sport is heaven to a mathematician!

11. Real life recedes while I'm sitting in the stadium or keeping track of the game at home. My worries fade. My deadlines seem manageable. World news and politics are forgotten. At the ballpark, my biggest worry is how soon Ryan Braun's Achilles will heal; whether Rickie Weeks will get his stroke back soon; or how the guys in the bullpen will manage to save the game. And, of course, whether I should have peanuts or a dish of ice cream.

12. After the game, I'm ready to rejoin the real world of road reconstruction, politicians offending each other, traffic jams, bills waiting to be paid, and editors' rejections.

13. Two unique facets of baseball give me the most pleasure: a walk-off win and a grand slam.