Baseball and the Holmes'
Afternoon girl - so here's a story about baseball and why we watch is so much.
As a child - I started really watching baseball when I was about 10. 1989 was the year. The Orioles were a last place to first place team. Meaning - they had one hell of a turn around. Cal Ripken was in the prime of his glory and the team was scrappy and very Baltimore
Your grandfather and I used to watch as many games as we could... we didn't have "cable" then... or whatever we call it by the time you read this. But "cable" had HTS on it - and you could watch just about every game there... else... you got maybe 2 games per week from your local stations.
Yes, believe it or not - growing up - I had 5 channels to choose from until I was about 13 years old. And even then I think I only had about 30...
We would listen to the Orioles every night on our radio - a converted 8 track receiver. The voice of John Miller, Brooks Robinson, Brother Lowenstein, Jim Palmer etc... would ring through our speakers as we played gin at the kitchen table. A love affair was born.
You see baseball is a pastoral game - a game filled with wonder and lack of constraints as far as time. Like Earl Weaver used to say, "Baseball is the greatest game in the world because you have to give the other guy his shot. You can't just run out the clock and take a knee. You get 27 at bats no matter what... so does the other guy."
The summer I can remember something being born in me. A desire to be good at the game of baseball. And so it went... this love affair every Summer with the Orioles. The radio, the tv, gin, little league, travel ball, metro ball, and eventually just baseball all day every day in the Summers. That's all I did... I played baseball all day.
I was pretty good at it. I worked hard to attain - what I thought - was my maximum potential. But looking back I could have probably worked a little harder. I always regretted the fact that I never thought myself as that good of an individual player - I was just happy to be on really good teams. As I got older, I got more cocky and assured of myself but when I was 11-15 - I could have worked much harder honing my craft. Those are the magic years... those are the years you develop your mind and body to become one and do something.
As I got older still and stopped playing baseball. The sport became more about friends and dialogue. No matter where you were - the Orioles could always be a common ground of communication. I still talk to your great grandfather about the Pirates... his team... We like them too a little. But.. the stadium and the team became an eternal spring of peace and optimism. It was a rebirth into something that I loved and cherished.
Now, I'm not saying that you'll love the game the same way. I don't expect you to one way or the other. You'll love what you love. But be sure to love something. Be sure to build memories around something that you adore. Excel at it. Push yourself. Have no regrets about what you could have done. Your Mother and I will support you in your dreams but it's your job to pursue them.
The Orioles are winning right now - as a matter of fact they've been winning since the day you were born. You just may be lucky... the year I was born they went to the World Series... so... it could be a Holmes thing that we have going on here.
Hope to share a game with you on the couch soon -