AN ARTICLE FROM THE BASEBALL MAGAZINE:NOV.
What A Wonderful Game Is Baseball
What a wonderful game is baseball. What a wonderful game this is with its sunshiny days, ballparks of all sizes & dimensions, and franks, and soda, and beer, & the crackling sound of peanuts being shelled, and fresh cut grass with beads of dew sparkling up from its tips, and venders giving their pitches and fans stretching out into impossible angles to reach their food, pigeons flying, swooping, and swirling around your head, flags with pennant winning years imprinted on them being whipped back and forth in the breeze, and public address announcers telling you who is coming to bat, and scoreboards that used to tell you scores by people putting the numbers in by hand and ones that now tell you everything with electronic wizardry, and of course the thrill of watching all those players (the stars and the toilers in the sun) perform day in and day out.
What a wonderful game is this game of baseball that has given us Babe Ruths called HR, and Lou Gehrigs farewell speech, Merkles boner, and Buckners incredible error, and Larsens perfect World Series game, and Eddie Gaedel (all 32 of him) working a walk against Bob Cain, and Sal Durante
catching the 61st Hr by Roger Maris, and Gionfridos catch, and the immortal homeruns by Bucky Dent, Kirk Gibson, and Aaron Boone, and Vandys two no-hitters, and Ripken breaking Gehrigs Iron man streak, and Pete Gray playing the outfield with just one arm, and Jim Abbott doing the same thing but as a pitcher, and Henderson stealing over a thousand bases, and Slaughter coming all the way home from first base on a single to win the last game of the World Series for the Cards, and Arron breaking Ruths HR record, and Rogers Hornsby averaging .400 over a five year period, and having both Eddie Waitkus and Billy Jurgess resume their careers after bring shot by lovesick fans.
What a wonderful game is baseball with its folklore and endless stories that attain mythic proportions and in some crazy, jingle jangle way, we who are fans of the game are part of it as well. The events live in our hearts and we carry the moments with us forever. But more than the stories, more than the outer trappings of the game, more than the box scores or the way the game is covered, there are the ballplayers, the men who come from everywhere. From rural farms, urban cities, other countries, big towns, small unheard of areas, highly sophisticated industrial places, sprawling farmlands, and milling city life spilling over with ethnic diversity that is mind boggling. They come in all sizes and shapes, colors and temperaments and they have been around for over 170 plus years now. There have been 16,000 of them and their talents have ranged from mediocre to sublime. We have had saints and sinners, huckleberries and sharpies, the all knowing, the gamblers, the womanizers, the street wise know-it-alls and the hicks from god knows where. The beauty and greatness of the game is that all can play. If youre fat or skinny, dumb or bright, quiet or flamboyant, it doesnt matter, everyone can get on that field and perform.
Were lucky. We have their accounts on film and paper and that tells us all. It tells us how the game has changed and in many ways how it has not. It tells us what the players were like and is a mirror of their time.
What a wonderful game is baseball.