Since I post as Baseball Gal, I decided I really should step up to the plate, so to speak, and put down some thoughts on the season that isn’t.
Isn’t it just amazing how the world has come to a screeching stop? How did we get to this place where America’s National Pastime has no opening day in Spring? Stadiums around the country just sitting there, empty. No cheering fans. No hot dogs! No one robbed of a homerun by some amazing catch at the wall. No razzle-dazzle on the mound. No batters going through a five minute ritual at the plate. (Okay, that one we can live without.) But no baseball – not anywhere?!?
For the fan it is unthinkable. It is heartbreaking. Not hearing the beautiful sound of the ball connecting to the bat and watching it sail through the air to meet it’s destination…not seeing our heroes on the field. Baseball is where our passion meets our hopes. And now in the midst of this terrible pandemic, baseball, like so many other things, is lost to us.
And certainly the fans understand the reasoning behind the loss of what may be an entire season of baseball. We understand the need for so much of our world to be shut down right now. We know that for the greater good, we all must be patient about so many things and baseball is one of those things.
My team, the Texas Rangers, was to open a brand new stadium this spring. It’s not that pretty, kind of looks like a big ol’ metal barn from the outside. And the front is way-too-modern glass and orange? To the creative minds behind this building, let me just say the Astros play a bit further south. Oh, and it’s turf. On the plus side for many here in the 100° plus Texas summers, it is air conditioned with a roof that closes. So, no rain delays.
Personally, I love the brick beauty that is known as the Ballpark. We made so many memories there over $1 hot dogs and $2 t-shirts. We had all of our favorite players: Moreland, Hamilton, Kinsler, Young, Pudge, Elvis, Joe Nathan, Darvish, Cruz (and his boom stick), Choo, and of course, my man Beltre. It’s where we witnessed Sammy hit his 600th homerun and Beltre making his 3000th hit.
And maybe this year there is no season at all. I cannot imagine life so quickly returning to normal when, even as I write, stricter guidelines for staying at home are being put in place and across the country we are beginning to put on masks. When in America did you ever expect that to happen?
Maybe this year, no one hears the roar of the home crowd. Maybe the vendors won’t be calling out “hot dogs here”. No foul balls going home with a proud kid, no autographs of a favorite player. And players may not have that great season we know they are destined for. We may not see our team make a run for the pennant this year. There may not be any stars in October.
As a fan of the game, I truly hope that we will get whatever shortened season we can get, with boldly asterisked numbers filling up the record books at the end of it. I truly hope that after this period of isolation and anxiety, fans will have the chance to ” root, root, root for the home team”. I hope we get to pay $10 for a lukewarm beer while wearing our team logo and that we get to see one of our guys diving for a catch that will save the game. I hope we get to stand shoulder to shoulder and sing our National Anthem as a huge American flag is unfurled on the field. And wouldn’t that be an amazing thing?