Out for an evening walk, I could see the lights of the diamond and the faint noise of kids playing baseball. Moose Jaw has a couple of lighted ball diamonds and this one is specifically for girls softball. Parents sitting in the stands with blankets, girls doing their very unique chants and the crack of the bat and smack of a ball meeting a glove. These are the sights and sounds of a lovely spring evening.
I’ve had an on-and-off relationship with baseball. As a kid, it may have been the first sport I played and truly loved. At age 7 I had taken a deep dive into Major League baseball. I remember I had a young college kid as a coach and I equally impressed him and annoyed him by sharing obscure statistics and other facts about the Cincinnati Reds who was my team before the Blue Jays came on the scene. Long story short, golf replaced baseball as my summer sport around age 14 and baseball faded into 3 or 4th place of my top sports.
I played slo-pitch for a few years as an adult and even coached my daughter for a couple of years but for the past 20 years or so baseball didn’t seem that interesting. Through a combination of my son’s passion for baseball, some colleagues who loved the game and the Bluejays teams of the mid-2010s, I once again found a renewed passion for the game. I love that there’s a game on most nights and you can choose various levels of attention to give the game.
But the game itself has unique qualities that I think are delightful. Some complain about the slow pace but like golf, I see that as a feature. It allows for conversations, rabbit holes and time to explore so many possibilities of what might come next. The venues are also part of it. I’ve been to 18 different major league ballparks and outside of Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, every stadium has a personality and a soul. No other sport values statistics more and allows you to follow players and teams that may not be contenders but are pursuing some interesting record or streak. I also love that for me it’s a multi-generalization sport. My 90-year-old father is a die-hard fan as is my son. It’s just an easy game to love.