Play Traditional Ball
I really have nothing to talk about this month. Do you ever get this way, nothing excites you and boredom is your best friend. Wait a minute, the baseball season is here again, Whoopi! When I moved to Florida in 1987 there was no Miami Marlins or Tampa Bay Devil Rays so we rooted for the Mets as we did in New York. I know there was also a team called the Yankees but they were always winning and didn’t have characters on their team like the Mets had. Remember Choo Choo Coleman, Ed Charles and Marv Thronberry?
Sometime around 1988 we found out the Mets had a spring training facility in Port St. Lucie and that started the annual trip to see the Amazins every year with my Son. He was around six or seven years old when we started going so we piled into the car and drove for an hour and fifteen minutes to reach the area around the stadium to search out a place to eat lunch. The choices in those days were slim but we always found something close by to eat. I think there was a Friendly’s and one other restaurant which has had several reincarnations over the years. Today the choices are plentiful.
The stadium is very nice with a seating capacity of about 7,000 and we always try to get seats in a covered area to avoid baking in the sun. Every year my senses come alive when I hear the first ball being hit with a wooden bat. There is no other sound like that to get your blood flowing.
Some people say that baseball is too slow and the commissioner is trying to speed up the game but baseball has a whole other attraction away from the ballgame if you take the time to watch it. Where else can you take your children and spend a day in the outdoors eating hot dogs, peanuts, lemonade, Italian ices, Cracker Jacks and a soft drink while actually talking to each other? Speaking on a cell phone is almost impossible due to crowd noise, public address announcements and music being played for each play as he comes to bat so conversation comes easily.
The game within a game is really interesting and traditional for me to watch. Let’s say a fly ball is hit deep to the right fielder with a runner on first. The 1st base umpire will move towards the ball in the outfield and the home plate umpire will move towards first base to see if the runner has left too soon in tagging up. (Running to the next base after the out is recorded) While this is going on the bat boy is running to home plate to pick up the batters bat and deliver more balls to the umpire when he returns to home plate. There are dozens of little acts like this that are traditional and make baseball what it is, a game of traditions.
This year was our 29th year in keeping the tradition alive. Next year we may bring my granddaughter to start another tradition. I look forward to it and Play Ball!