“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” ~ Leo Tolstoy, War And Peace
It’s game day. Today, at 3 p.m., Virginia plays George Washington at nearby Disharoon Park in Charlottesville.
The Cavaliers are off to a wobbly 4-3 start. But, I’m not worried. They are a stacked team. They will be fine.
Today, at 7 a.m., I am having my coffee. I should be scouring the weather report, calculating temperature and wind speed to determine how many layers I will need to sit through an early March baseball game.
I should be scanning the rosters, recharging my camera, making sure the scorecard is ready to go.
These are little nothing chores. Things I rarely think about as I’m doing them. The routine of a baseball fan.
I should be doing all these things.
I am not.
Only a few fans can attend and they must be spread widely through the park.
Instead, I’m sitting here wondering where the past year went.
One year. March to March. One big blurry uncomfortable inconsiderate wasted lost year.
I miss baseball. I miss restaurants.
I miss having a job that I go to, Yoga students that I can see on their mats, massage clients who arrive each week, on the same day, at the same time, and tell me about home and family and what they’re reading and what their garden is growing and what hurts today and what doesn’t.
I miss having somewhere to go. Somewhere to be.
I miss the free hot chocolate that Virginia gives fans whenever the temperature dips below 45.
I miss baseball.
It will be 51 and sunny today in Charlottesville. No free hot chocolate. I would wear, I think, three light, sweatshirt’y layers and a jacket to the game. I would bring my winter gloves, just in case. I am prone to cold.
If these were normal times. But, they are not.
Major League Spring Training is underway in Florida and Arizona.
And, I need to tell you this.
Last year, right about now, Trey Mancini, star first baseman of the Baltimore Orioles – Most Valuable Oriole in 2019 – had his season ended when the team’s routine physical uncovered aggressive Stage 3 colon cancer. He was 27.
While I brooded through a lost year missing restaurants and feeling sorry for myself, Trey Mancini was fighting cancer, fighting to stay alive.
On Sunday, the first day of Spring Training games, Trey returned to the Orioles lineup. Cancer free.
And, this happened …
“I almost teared up a little bit, I’m not going to lie, when I was up there and everybody gave me a standing ovation and I saw all the guys on the field clapping on the Pirates, clapping in the dugout, our team, and all our fans. It meant the world to me.”
It’s spring. It’s baseball.
And, hope springs eternal.
I’m with you on the frustration of a “lost” year! Things HAVE to get better. 👍
They will get better, Mark. They have to! :)
Great piece (again) and a great reminder of what is important about this game we love. Baseball brings us together, guys like Trey remind us how human and fragile and hopeful we are. Great job.
Thank you, Art! And, we need to warm up those Virginia bats …
Thinking of you! This pretty much sums up our life in the last year. But yes -we have hope & love. And so glad Trey is back in the game cancer free. One day soon we will be able to enjoy baseball & other sports that we love. Keep the faith-you are not alone! Love you & miss you bunches 🌞🥰
Sent from my iPhone Nancy
Miss you, too, Nancy. Things will get better soon. Well, soon-ish!
I just teared up a little, reading your words and watching the clip you shared. Never, in my long life, has Baseball’s return borne so much hope and- yes- joy. Thank you, Jackie.
Thank you, John. I think that the phrase “hope springs eternal” comes from the 18th century … but it sure seems like it comes straight from baseball.
I feel you Jackie. This last year has been one long stress. So much anxiety and worry. It was awful. Still kind of is, but I guess we’re getting used to keeping our distance and wearing a mask. And as you pointed out, Mancini’s struggle puts it all in perspective. I’m sitting here listening to the Brewers and A’s, the 87-year Bob Uecker calling the play-by-play and it feels great! It’s amazing how his mind has held up, still funny as can be. I hope you get to go to one of the Cavaliers games this spring.
Thanks, Steve. I hope we don’t get so used to life this way that we forget what “normal” is.
Love this… I live in a spring training area, and it’s nice to have a little normalcy around here. (Not completely, but gaining on it.) Cheers to Trey Mancini.
I hope you get to a spring training game, Paul. Cheer for me! (It doesn’t even matter which team you cheer for … just give a yell and enjoy some baseball for me.)
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Tigers will be opening limited seats. I’m not even gonna try the Cubs. Those fans are crazy…but maybe we’ll get to the Tigers with a niece in Detroit. <3
I hope you get to a game! Sitting in the stands these past couple weeks … has felt like a teeny-tiny bit of normal has crept back into my life. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than no normal at all
We get our second shot this week. Somewhere, someone is playing baseball. We’ll find them.
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Thank you! I feel the same way. It is so good to see Trey out there playing. Regards…a Giant’s fan.
I’m so happy for the Giants … atop the NL West, the best record in the National League, and the second best record in baseball. I love overachievers! (And, I always have a soft spot for the Giants in my born-in-California heart.)
Ill be honest, looking at the pitching, it was very much a case of “well they have Gausman…and a few others.” That said what a great job those others have done! . Ill say hello to California for you! I watched the Angel’s game yesterday. What a sad bunch they were. That team looks demoralized.