This I believe. As a boy I played little league baseball. It was what I lived for; the smell of the dirt, the ping of the metal bat, the adrenaline of running the bases, and the cheers from the family and friends that came to watch. I played seven seasons in Riverside, California. Some of those seasons I played on the same team as my brother. Those were some of my favorite seasons. My brother and I were best friends. Baseball was our life and we played it all the time. He eventually gave it up. I still loved the game but maybe not as much.
Every team I played on my dad was the coach. At the end of the game I would drive home and we would discuss what I did, what mistakes I made, and what I could improve upon. I know some kids have a hard time with this because they feel that they aren’t good enough, but it wasn’t like that for me. I looked forward to the after game talk with my dad just as much as I looked forward to the game.
When I was 11 years old I made a super league team that was going to travel around the state to play. That was going to be the first team I was on that my dad wasn’t my coach. Instead my dad’s job shut down and we moved to Utah. That was the only place that my dad could find a job. When we got to Utah I was able to join a little league team. It wasn’t the same. My dad worked the graveyard shift and wasn’t even able to make it to most of my games. Playing the game lost its spark. I still loved the game, but I realized that it was more about spending time with family.
Since then I have enjoyed being a fan; that way I can sit next to my dad, brother, mom, sister, or wife and someday hopefully my children. We can cheer for the home team, yell at the umpires for bad calls, and boo and heckle the visiting team all while eating a hotdog or chewing on sunflower seeds or just sitting and finding out how the family is.
Now every year my wife and I buy season tickets to the local Triple-A baseball team where we are able to enjoy the game and spend time together. Baseball is America’s favorite past time and I have found the real reason why.
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