Simple Joy #6
Baseball might just be a part of my DNA. I grew up surrounded by it. When I was a kid a family member was a scout for a major league team. That was akin to being famous to me, it was such a big deal. Then when they went to and won the World Series it was AWESOME.
Mostly, I’ve been a Chicago team fan…the Sox while I grew up on the South Side and then the Cubs when I moved up north. There have been seasons that from May through September (I never go in April, it’s too cold) I’ve been at Wrigley Field practically every week for a game. Great stadium. Great atmosphere. Awful burgers (sorry, Wrigley).
If I can’t be there in person, one of the great simple joys of life is listening to a baseball game on the radio. And we’re spoiled here in Chicago with play-by-play broadcasters like Pat Hughes.
Baseball can be all action, depending on the game. But for me I love the lazy, hazy, slower paced games as well as the ones with all the long balls. There’s something about listening to the crowd in the background, the funny stories that Hughes and color analyst Ron Coomer share during lull moments, the way I can smell the ballpark or see the ivy in my head when I listen since I’ve been there so much. Baseball isn’t just a sport of runs and outs for me- it’s a shared history. Family history. A history of extra inning games with friends. A long time drought for my beloved team between World Series wins and the glory of 2016, with other long suffering die-hard fans//strangers.
It’s packed in Red Line rides to Addison a half hour before the first pitch with someone’s elbow jabbing you in the neck (also, I’m short and when people hold onto the overhead railing on the train, sometimes it’s an armpit in the face…if you’ve ridden the Red Line, you know what I mean). It’s symbolic of listening to games at the beach on an old school radio.
It’s all sights, smells, and tastes rolled into one for me with baseball and listening to a full season of games on the radio means feeling as if Hughes and Coomer are my dear friends, like neighbors I would talk to over the backyard fence, shoot the shit with, have a BBQ with.
Baseball, in one form or another, has been in my life since I was thirteen. It may be a multi million dollar business but it’s a simple joy for me six months of the year (more if it’s a good season).
How about you?