Sunday, January 14, 2007

My game

So here it is nearly 2 a.m. and I can't sleep.

I'm thinking tonight of baseball. Three more months. Three more months.

Actually, not even that long. UT baseball starts Feb. 2; Halls High baseball begins a month or so later.

There is something inherently wrong with freezing your butt off at a baseball game, which is what usually happens in February and March. But I'll take it. I'd walk through hell in a gasoline suit to get to a game.

Early on this Sunday morning, I read from Roger Kahn's "The Boys of Summer," his ode to the Brooklyn Dodgers of 1952-53. And I think about what my pal J.M. said earlier this week.

"I'm looking forward to it this year."

Me, too.

It's a catharsis. It's a pastime. It's a game. It's a philosophy. If you're looking for it, chances are, baseball's got it.

I like high school and the minor leagues the best. Those guys play because they love it. They aren't in it for the money; they aren't (I hope) juiced up on steroids.

I've watched the sun set in New England, the Arizona desert, in California and in Karns, and I don't think it looks any prettier than when it fades just beyond the Halls High baseball field on a spring night. From my perch on the press box stool, usually next to either Rodney Duncan or Sweatbee Mynatt, it's the most beautiful sight I've ever seen.

Somewhere along the way, I have lost my boyish enthusiasm for just about everything. Except for this game.

I hold tightly to it, consider it a prized possession, stubbornly refusing to let it go.

Strikes and steroids be damned. This is my game.

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