The Great National Pastime

For those whose lives move beyond Inspirational music, you’ll be glad to know that baseball is alive and well.  Once, not so long ago, beleaguered by drug scandals and steroid doubt, our national pastime has now recovered and once again become the game Americans love.

How do I know this?  I’m a devoted Yankee fan.  I hope I don’t lose half my readership over this admonition, but yes, I love the Yankees – not a difficult team to follow.  Now I don’t want to brag, but winning is fun and consequently, it’s fun to be a Yankee fan.  Even this year when pitching is second rate and there are injuries a-plenty, they still win with regularity.

Even better, I, the jaded doubter of late, who was often quoted as saying that baseball was better on television than live, have discovered that I was wrong.  I’ll admit it.  Actually I am happy to admit it.  I was wrong.

Last night one of my best friends in life took me to a Yankee game at the new Yankee Stadium.  Wow!  What an experience!  It’s a modern 8th Wonder of the World in its largess, grace and historical majesty.  It’s also simply a great place to watch baseball! And in between the innings, be totally entertained.

We sat up in the nose bleed section out in left field about 10 rows down from the very top of the stadium, but our seats were great and the close-up necessities of the game were brought to us by wondrous huge screen panels of clarity and color.  I felt like I had front row seats all night and the binoculars that I had brought with me stayed in my jacket pocket all game.

The baseball gods of Teixeira, Rodriguez, Cano and Granderson each delivered amazing moments of dash and power and only Jeter was missing in his quest for 3000 hits – out with a strained left hamstring.  But even his sub hit a towering home run to celebrate his own birthday.  Teixeira hit two ‘taters’, A-Rod performed a marvelous dash around the bases to score a tying run with a mighty slide across home plate and Granderson, the next great Yankee centerfielder, threw out one of the Texas Rangers at home plate from deep center field that had the 60,000 or so roaring through the night.

I had fun!  I, the myopic workhorse of 9th Avenue, actually went out for the evening, left the Missus behind and hung out with my pal and left the world of stress, problems and deadlines behind and went out and had fun!

In between the innings used to simply be a time to hang out and wait for the next inning to start, but now it’s replete with board games, quizzes and people close-ups.  The cameras and huge screen panels around the stadium brought all 60,000 of us close together like one big Yankee family as we celebrated together yet another Yankee victory – this time 12-4.  Hits and homers galore.  Thrills and chills a-plenty!

One of my favorite parts of the entertainment part of the evening was the people close-ups.  It was Andy Warhol who said that in the age of television everyone will have their 15 minutes of fame, but I think now it’s true that in the age of modern baseball everyone can get his or her 5 seconds of fame.

I loved watching people of all ages discover that they were on camera and up on the big screen for all to see and their were reactions were priceless, varying from total embarrassment, to wild excited hysteria, to mock coolness to clueless dopiness.  Ah, the human race.  A joy to behold.  Each close-up vignette was a study in human reaction and individuality and completely captured and entertained the crowd between innings.  That alone was worth the price of admission.

I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, “Take me out to the ballgame, take me out to the game, buy me some peanuts and crackerjack…”

What an evening!  What a joy!

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2 Responses to “The Great National Pastime”

  1. Bonnie Wilson Says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that there’s nothing better than being right there in the stadium to watch the game, especially when your team’s winning and hitting homers with the fireworks, etc. And, yes, the videos between innings are funny, especially the kiss-cam they do at Busch Stadium. One of my favorite video games at the ballpark is having to keep your eye on the baseball zigzagging around and under three ball caps and guessing which one it’s under at the end. Wasn’t at the ballpark tonight, but it was great to see one of our favorite pitchers finally get another win; the Cardinals have had lots of injuries and they played against one of the best NL teams, the Phillies. Finally beat them big tonight! Yeah! But they also have one of our local guys on their team – Ron Howard – and our fans always cheer when he makes his first appearance. Cardinals fans are the greatest! Loved your blog on baseball, Pete!

  2. Peter Link Says:

    Go Cardinals! Get well, Albert Pujols!!!

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