I believe in Baseball.
I can remember the glorious era in baseball when DiMaggio, Williams, Robinson, Mays, Musial and other legends were in their heydays, and frankly, I feel sorry for those who can’t. I’ve loved the game all my long life, and here in New York, I go often by myself to Yankee or Shea Stadium, sit in the tiers, and dutifully keep score; maybe I’ll record a no-hitter, or a squeeze play, or some other rare marvel, like Jason Giambi hitting into Left Field.
I’m usually surrounded by fellow fans who were born in this Age of the Computer. They are amused by the sight of a proper, white-haired woman sitting alone with a scorecard and pencil, instruments which do not have a battery or a cord.
But then, as the game progresses, one of them, perplexed, will turn and ask me, “Hey, lady, has Mussina walked anybody yet?” Or “Hey, lady, did Reyes beat out that bunt in the Third?” And the voice in my head says silently, “Hey, kid, I don’t understand your humor, I hate your music, and, truth to tell, I don’t like YOU very much”. But I consult my scorecard and answer his question. And… magically … Peace breaks out. Dialogue ensues. And smiles. And a conversation between people who have nothing in common — except Baseball.
At the end of the game, he will invariably offer me a polite goodbye. We shake hands, and even share a congratulatory high-five if our team has done well. And I think, “Kid, I still don’t understand your humor and I still hate your music, but .. I do like YOU.”
So, God bless Henry Chadwick, the man who invented the scorecard. And Gooooooo, Baseball!
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.