Love for Baseball

I don't have time to watch sports live anymore, so I tape the game and watch in the next morning while I'm on the treadmill.  Football and basketball are fun to zip through, fast-forwarding between plays and other long stops in action.  I always turn the volume down because I can't hear anything over the whirring of the treadmill anyway.

But baseball, my first love, is different.  Last night, I taped the All-Star Game, which may be a yawner to some but is one of my favorite games to watch.  And, as opposed to how I blaze through football and basketball, I watch every minute of the All-Star Game telecast.  Because no matter how much you like or dislike the announcers, they always take the time to tell you the stories behind the players and behind the seasons they're having.

Even better, baseball always makes sure to connect to its storied past during every midsummer classic.  Last night, it was the Say Hey Kid, Willie Mays, walking in from center field with his godson, Barry Bonds, and throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.  (What other sport has a better ceremonial first anything than baseball's?) 

In fact, it was an All-Star Game that reignited my childhood love for the game.  I didn't watch hardly any TV in college in the early 90's, and 1994 was wiped out by a strike.  But the McGwire-Sosa home run chase started to thaw me out.  And then the 1999 All-Star Game came around. 

If you watched it, you remember Teddy Ballgame, Ted Williams, wheeled in and being immediately surrounded by the all-stars.  In an instant, the game's best players were reduced to wide-eyed kids, nudging each other goofily, holding back tears, and gawking at the game's greatest hitter.  In that moment, all the hours I spent devouring old baseball books at the library near our house back home came back to me.  I was a baseball fan again. 

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