This I Believe

Shayna - Omaha, Nebraska
Entered on February 20, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports
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Baseball…live, breathe and die

It’s one of those days where nothing — and I mean nothing, is more important than throwing your messy hair into a cap, putting on your grungy, faded college t-shirt with the hole in the armpit, and starving yourself until you get the chance to eat the greasiest, overpriced yet delicious food you could possibly eat.

It’s one of those days where your greatest desire is to hear the crack of the bat, watch the diving catch in the outfield and listen to the spectator seated behind shout profanities at the umpire following the close play at the plate.

It’s game day.

When I was six years of age, my father introduced me to the most intriguing activity I had ever experienced in my lifetime.

“Look Shayna,” he said, pointing to the television. “This is baseball. You will live, breathe, and die loving it. Understand?”

I nodded in agreement. I had no idea what baseball was or why it was so important. All I knew was that my dad loved it and so should I. I knew then that I believe in baseball.

I don’t know if it’s the mounds of gum stuck to the bottom of the seats, piles of garbage scattered about everyone’s feet or the abominable body odor that fills the sticky, humid air. Either way, I wouldn’t settle for anything less.

There is no such thing as ‘fancy’ or ‘frilly’ in baseball. If your clothing selection doesn’t resemble your baseball team’s colors, you need to change. If you don’t spit at least once, whether it’s sunflower seed or peanut shells, or for your liking, you aren’t casual enough. If you don’t yell at least twice, you aren’t utilizing your vocal cords for their purpose.

Good baseball needs fans the way that a hotdog needs ketchup — but it’s the extra garnish that puts it in a whole new light. I believe that if you’re willing to pitch a tent and stay the night to score reserved tickets to see your favorite team play, you make that light shine brighter and one of the main reasons that baseball is still as important as it was a hundred years ago.

It’s the simple things in life that really matter. It’s not about how much money you have, it’s about what makes you happy. Baseball makes me happy. Not just for the sport itself, or for my ability to swoon my father into buying me seconds and thirds of ice cream, but the feeling of being in a stadium with thousands of strangers with completely different lives than mine, but having the same love as I do – the love of baseball.

I believe – I know – that the first and foremost happiness in life is finding your own passion. Baseball is my passion, my love, and before I forget to ask, if you haven’t purchased tickets yet – what are you waiting for?