I recently started attending the church of my youth again. Every Sunday, as devoutly as the Pope.
However, no one there wears a robe. The steeples are foul poles, and the alter is 60 feet 6 inches long. Communion is taken in the dugout, and the only hymns are sung by maple and ash. There is no confessional booth. Nor is there need for one. There is only a batter's box where all your of failures and triumphs will be laid out for the world to bare witness. And it's only 90 feet to salvation.
I love baseball
Anyone who knows me is well aware that I love baseball. I can't rattle stats off the top of my head, and I am not a huge fan of sabermetrics. In fact, I'm not even sure what WAR is other than it stands for Wins Above Replacement. So I guess I'm considered "old school" even though I'm only 27. But baseball is the only thing I consider myself truly passionate about. Sure, I go though times when fly fishing is just about the only thing on my mind, and hockey takes up a lot of my time from October through June, but baseball is still king.
Anyone that knows me is also undoubtedly aware that I have recently started playing baseball again, because I talk about it constantly. My apologies, I am just very excited. For me, it's like getting a second chance with 'the one that got away'.
Now in all honesty, I was a pretty good ball player when I was younger. However, I have no delusions that I ever would have had any sort of career in baseball. If I really would have worked my ass off in high school, maybe I could have played in junior college. Maybe. As it is, I have no regrets about hanging my cleats up when I did, and I actually did it on one of the few pieces of good advice my old man gave me. He told me, "Baseball is supposed to be fun. If it ever starts to feel like a chore, you shouldn't be playing anymore."
That being said, I had no idea how much I missed it until I got on the diamond again. I missed all of it. The smell of it, the feel of, the ritual of it. Turning a dozen double plays in practice to make sure everyone knows where they should be and what they should be doing. Time slowing when it's your turn to take a grounder. Square up. Soft hands. Pivot. Plant. Release. I missed the 100's of tiny intricacies that go into every play that end up winning you or costing you games. I missed all of it.
Now it's time to get to work and get my game back. And there sure is a lot of work to be done, but there is nothing quite as satisfying as earning your salvation 90 feet at a time.
I love baseball.