“Gateway To The Majors”

“Within the ball park, time moves differently, marked by no clock except the events of the game. This is the unique, unchangeable feature of baseball and perhaps explains why this sport, for all the enormous changes it has undergone … remains somehow rustic, unviolent, and introspective. …

“Baseball’s time is seamless and invisible, a bubble within which players move at exactly the same pace and rhythms as all their predecessors.” 

~ Roger Angell

Baseball keeps me close.

It keeps me close to my dad who didn’t even really like baseball, but it keeps me there nevertheless whenever I hear Vin Scully’s voice (less often now) or see a Dodger’s logo. Even though my dad’s been gone for years.

The Giants next, and I’m very small, because that’s where we were when I was very small.  Just an hour away from Willie Mays.

The Twins come next, reminding me of teenaging, because there we were when I was teened. Twins games on a North Dakota radio station, while my dad waited for the forecast that would tell him if the thunderstorm from the west would bring crop-killing hail.

And, finally then, the Orioles remind me of being young and fresh at a new job, in a new city, with the whole world and countless years ahead, wide open for the picking.

A single game today can take me to all those yesterday places.

It’s a different world inside a ballpark. It’s like being in a snowglobe. Without the snow, of course.

I love how every time I post about my baseball memories on here, people post their memories, too. And, I love how they all float together in that wonderful baseball snowglobe.

So, yesterday, sure.

But, it’s tomorrow, too.

Because, things move on and change, that’s what they do.

And, the players that fill the rosters of your nearby summer team — college leagues and Legion ball — won’t be there forever, and, in some cases, won’t be there long.

Their dreams are somewhere else tonight while you sit in the bleachers remembering whatever it is that you remember.

But, maybe, many years from now, one or two of those players will look back on a summer night at a tiny Charlottesville ballpark – where, by some witchery, a cool breeze always wafts through the stands no matter how hot the day has been – and maybe they’ll remember a game that they played here once.

Their “Gateway to the Majors.”

In response to the photo challenge: Delta – symbolizing transition, change, and the passage of time. For more photos from this WordPress challenge, click here

Photo: Charlottesville Tom Sox, Cville Weekly Field, Charlottesville, Virginia. June 17, 2017 © The Baseball Bloggess

13 thoughts on ““Gateway To The Majors”

  1. Well, that made me a little teary. It’s so true, and it goes a long way toward explaining why I feel so angry, whenever someone talks about “speeding up the game”, because “nothing is happening” and “it takes so long”.
    I’m almost a little nervous about how much the game of baseball- the IDEA of baseball- has come to mean to me. I’m not a religious man, but I believe in the Baseball Gods. I know that they despise hubris, and forgive brush-back pitches, and- against all odds- I believe that the Giants will end the season with an over .500 average, IF I wear my Giants cap every day.
    Thanks, again, for saying, so well, what I feel.

    • I agree, very nostalgic. My dad wasn’t a big sports fan, my mom wasn’t either. But mom went to almost all my little league games (she worked nights as a nurse), and let me skip school a few times to see spring training games in Florida. She was my liaison with Ed Kranepool of the Mets one spring (long story), and that’s who my blog is named for. My grandparents would listen to Braves games on the radio when we went camping. Then later, with cable, they would watch them on the Superstation, TBS. Lots of great old memories. Thanks!!

    • Thank you John … yes, I agree. I don’t know why one would want to speed up the game … once I’m there at the park, I’m home. Why would I want to leave? And, keep wearing that Giants cap, I think it’s working! (Not sure my O’s cap has much mojo left, but I’ll keep at it.)

  2. I was fortunate to have both parents love baseball. My mom and I would play solitaire on the floor with Cardinals on the radio. Dad had it on the radio outside. The changes…I don’t think it sped up the game, seems to me they run longer. Loved your words…very well done! It is a true bond to this day w my family as well as my siblings and mom.

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