Monday, March 12, 2007

Nothing else like it

There is nothing like it.

Oh, one or two things. The love of a good woman. The prettiest eyes you've ever seen. Twinkies.

But tonight, when the Big Red Machine (sorry, Cincinnati) scored five runs in the top half of the 7th, then held on to beat the West Runnin' Rebels to open the year, well, I felt like a boy, as wild and free as the western wind.

It happened yesterday, too. When Cody Brown smashed the 2-0 pitch to left field, and the realization hit that the Volunteers had just nailed a walk-off grand slam to cap a come-from-behind win over Siena, I leapt for joy, giving high fives and hugs to strangers, awash in the pure unadulterated bliss of the moment.

Baseball is like that.

And such moments happen best in our national pastime. They come out of nowhere, surprise you, hit you smack dab in the chest and scream "Yep, I'm the greatest game of them all!"

You will get no argument here.

I told Trina Polston tonight that I try to remember what the heck I do the rest of the year away from my mistress. When she returns in the spring, a time of renewal, my body, too, awakens from winter slumber, ready to conquer the world again.

When you catch it on a night like tonight, almost perfect, you love it that much more. They call it a kids game, and I suppose it is, 'cause tonight I caught back up with that little blue-eyed boy from Brickey Elementary School, full of wonder and wanderlust. I was glad to see him. Been too long.

It hit me driving home that such moments make life what it is. Suddenly the disappointments, the low ebbs and twists and turns don't matter much. Not when your favorite team gives you the best possible early birthday present. Not when it's so beautiful outside. Not when it's baseball.

No, friends, try as you might, you'll never convince me otherwise. There's simply nothing else like it.


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