Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Yesterday was the 25th wedding anniversary. Today is the opening day of the 2020 Major League Baseball season. Six months ago I could not even image this happening. It is just not normal for my anniversary to be the day before opening day. In a world desperate for anything normal could this opening day in July possible be the answer?

Could a baseball season where the National League has a designated hitter, or every extra inning beginning with a runner on second base be the normalcy I crave.
Will having the stands empty and the crowd noise be recorded and piped in be a satisfying as have actual fans cheering the home team with every big hit.

Give me a moment to consider this proposition. Give me a very short moment.

I cannot wait for the first pitch.

As a sports fan who is somewhat mobility challenged and who has in recent years spent just a wee too much time planted in front of a television set watching everything from baseball to curling I can tell you that the adjustments I have had to make to my life when Covid 19 ran sports into a bridge abutment were at first difficult. Very difficult! But somehow I made it through.

My son Jacob and I grew up as a father and son sharing every moment of our teams highs and lows. It has been a roller coaster and a labor of love. We have also shared every moment of the crazy “off season.”

Tomorrow I will be attending a socially distanced and masked very small viewing party with my bride of 25 years, and my son and his girlfriend to celebrate a man who I had never heard of before March do something I am sure he has never done before.

Yes when Anthony Fauci throws out the first pitch tomorrow at 4PM Pacific Daylight Time I will be holding a glass of champagne in my hand and toasting the new normal.

I have always been philosophical about sports and have wondered why fans root for a particular team. Going to Medieval Times and being told to root for the Blue Knight just because he happened to the one assigned to the section in which I was having dinner in did not make any sense to me. I looked for something more compelling.

It turned out that just having the team be the home team and the geographically closest to my front door was not enough. But it was definitely a start.
You get to know the stories of the players who play for your local team. Hopefully you get to like them. This really helps.

I have chosen to root for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but only since 1958. And there have been some ups and downs over the years. But it turns out that this group of Dodgers is a really likeable group of guys so this is one of the up times. I have heard them interviewed ad infinitum and I feel like they are almost members of my family.

They just did a video piece for “Black Lives Matter” that would knock your socks off. Years ago, the Dodgers were the team that integrated professional baseball by signing Jackie Robinson. But I am a “what have you done for me lately” kind of guy. I am not disappointed in any way with this current group of players.

So when they take the field at 7:08 Pacific Time Thursday evening I will be rooting for them with every pitch. And I will have reclaimed a bit of normalcy in this abnormal world.

Take me out to the ball game. Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks. It’s time to let the games begin.

Larry Weiner

The Actors' Gang

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