February 5, 2010

Baseball is good like that

I have a confession to make. When I started blogging I hadn’t really read any other blogs. I kind of just jumped in; however, it wasn’t long after I started that I decided I should go out and see what else was going on in the blogosphere.

My searches eventually lead me to Joe Posnanski’s Curiously Long Posts blog. Posnanski is an accomplished columnist and author and when he’s not writing his blog, he’s writing for Sports Illustrated.

I love reading his blog. He doesn’t even have to be writing about baseball for me to find it interesting.

This week; I read something Posnanski wrote that struck a cord with me. He wrote, “I have tried hard to write about the fun side of sports, the optimistic side of sports, the bright side of the street.” The context (in this case), isn’t important; what is important (at least to me) is that Posnanski focuses on the part of sports that we should all focus on; the fun and the optimistic side of it all.

Life is hard; a lesson we learn all too often. Thank God we have things like baseball or music or books or whatever one chooses to help take our minds off the things that make life difficult at times.

There have been times when writing this blog has been a struggle. There are times when I have a hard time coming up with creative, fun content. That usually leads me to rehashing what everyone else is already doing and that’s not what I intended to do here.

I need to make sure I keep having fun with this blog and keeping it fresh for those who take the time to read it. Fortunately for me, I don’t think that will be too difficult, as I’ve managed to have a good time with this blog most of the time already. Posnanski’s post just served as a friendly reminder.

I also need to focus on the positive things about baseball and I should try to stay on the optimistic side of things. That means letting go of the bitterness of seeing John Lackey sign with the Red Sox (something I write about more for effect than anything else) and not getting too worked up over projections that cast the Angels as an under-dog. I’ll still have fun with those things, but I’ll try to use less venom. Besides everyone loves an under-dog, right?

And… just so we’re clear; that doesn’t mean I’ll go any easier on the A’s. I get too much pleasure out of bashing them.

One more tid-bit about Posnanski. One of my co-workers (also named Joe), who shares a fondness for Posnanski let me borrow a book Posnanski wrote called “The Soul of Baseball – a road trip through Buck O’Neil’s America.” I just started reading it, but it’s a magnificent lesson on making lemons out of lemonade. I highly recommend the book. You will find it inspiring, funny, and I guarantee it will put a smile on your face. I think I will be a better baseball fan for reading it.

Buck O’Neil has provided me with a great reminder that a lot of good comes out of being enthusiastic and positive.

Take my in-laws for instance. My father-in-law Charles likes baseball. I don’t know if he loves it the way Cheryl and I do, but I know he likes it enough to watch it whenever it’s on TV over anything else.

Unfortunately, he didn’t make it to the stadium this past season with Cheryl and me; mostly because navigating the stairs became a bit of a challenge, but he definitely pulls for the Angels all the time.

Maybe he likes the Angels because his daughter is such a big fan. Charles grew up close to Boston, but I think he loves his daughter more than any team he grew up watching and pulls for the Angels because he wants his daughter to be happy.

My dad was like that. He always took an interest in my favorite teams and the players that I followed.

My mother-in-law, Millie has also become a big time Angels fan and loves going to a few games every year and when she’s not at the stadium with us; she’s usually listening to the games on the radio (that’s dedication!). I think Cheryl’s and possibly my own enthusiasm for the Angels has rubbed off on her. Now, if we were pessimistic and negative all the time, she probably never would have taken an interest.

I believe our stories about spring training, our friends in Section 514, our adventures in autograph collecting, and the games themselves have combined to help fuel Cheryl’s mom and dad’s interest. I’m guessing they had to see for themselves what all the fuss was about.

Baseball is one of the best things all four of us share together; and Angel baseball gives us something specific to rally around. The game is great like that. In fact, it’s beautiful that way.

We also have some dear friends named Mickey and Karen who are also Angel fans. I may be mistaken, but I kind of think our enthusiasm has rubbed off on them too; at least to the point where they follow the team more than they used to. Karen even tapes games that she goes to in person; just so she can go back and see things she might have missed.

I love hearing things like that and I love how baseball brings people together.

The 2010 season can’t get here soon enough. It will be great to have a season to follow with family and friends once again. Baseball may be just a game; but it’s also something special we can share with one another.

Often times it’s a game that’s passed down from one generation to another. In our case, it’s sort of being passed up a generation (to Cheryl’s parents) and that’s more than cool in my book. It’s never too late to become a baseball fan and there’s always room for more to join in the fun.

BallHype: hype it up!

No comments:

Post a Comment