Monday, July 6, 2009

It's Summertime, and that means . . .

Baseball. . . the great game.

At some point every summer, when the heat rises to a certain level and the smell of a fresh mown lawn blows my way, I think of baseball.

The game of summer. The game of skill, and strategy, and luck, and endurance. The game of failure.

The slow moving game with occasional seconds of excitement. Like life, itself.

I think of beer and hot dogs and mustard and peanuts. Of Col'beer here, Cooolers, and Hotdaaaawwgs, as the concessionaires used to say.

I think of the sound of the wood bat meeting the leather skinned ball and seeing that connection before hearing it.

I think of handsome Johnny Callison, Cookie Rojas, Tony Taylor, Richie Ashburn, Pete Incaviglia, Nolan Ryan, Julio-Julio, and Charlie Hough, who would catch a smoke between innings back when a knuckle ball pitcher could do such things.

I think of the red-capped Phillies, and Connie Mack stadium. I think of Willie Mays, and Say-Hey, and basket catches.

When summer hits, and the air is still, I'll hear a distant radio and the baritone-voiced announcer calling balls and strikes, and I will think of the nights at the ballpark watching the Texas Rangers with my boys, my daughter, and my wife. And the Pony League games, and hitting ground balls to the boys in the front yard and . . . there is no end of baseball memory.

God, I loved that game.


catherine said...

Great post, Mr. S! One of your best. I have some great memories of going to Ranger games as a girl - I remember being @ Arlington stadium the night Nolan Ryan pitched his final no-hitter - May of '91. Ah, now I'm feeling very nostalgic. Makes me want to take our little guys out to the ball game... ;-)

Francis Shivone said...

Wow, Catherine. The final ho-hitter, that is a treat. Saw Mr Ryan many times but no no-hitters.

Great memories.

And thanks.