Every year around this time the air seems to change. Spring starts peeking around the corner ever so slowly and the expectations of new beginnings floods the hearts and minds of everyone in sight of it. There are some individuals who have the special ability to smell a different kind of scent in the air. The flowers beginning to bloom and the sun warming the sky means something special to them. It's more than just better weather or more opportunities to get out of the house. There's something in the blood, in their soul that cries out of another beginning. They see the beginning of a new season. A new chance for the unbelievable magic of baseball to once again come alive.
To those who aren't fans this may seem strange, but it's quite natural. For over a century millions of people have seen this time of the year as something special. It's more than just an interest in the local team. It's what causes hundreds of thousands to cram themselves into small spaces on trains and in cabs and cars. It's what causes many to stand on their feet for hours outside of ballparks. It's what causes them to stay in hot smoke filled bars pressed up against people they don't know just to see the moment of victory.
It's more than that. It doesn't just cause people to do things that in any other situation would seem irrational. It's the thing that inspires millions of people around the country and even around the world. It inspired J. Patrick Lewis to write Reasons for Rainbows. It inspired many to begin to sing the Star Spangled Banner long before it was our national anthem. It has inspired countless young boys to dream dreams bigger than themselves. It has inspired those same young boys to become victorious and inspiring men. It inspired Walt Whitman to write about it, “it belongs as much to our institutions, fits into them as significantly as our Constitution's laws; is just as important in the sum total of our historic life."
To many it's more than a game. As James Earl Jones said in Field of Dreams, “it's a part of our past”. Theres' something majestic about it. To some it reminds them of being a kid again. For some it's an experience for them to bond with their own children. For many it's an outlet of their competitive spirit. For many more it's Americas greatest past time.
Yes, it is a game, but please don't say that it's just a game. For so many people, it's so much more. For most it's not just about the winning and losing. It's about the journey that the game takes you on time and time again, season by season. It's the well spring of hope that maybe this year is the year and if not, maybe next year.
For whatever reason you love this game, for whatever reason you watch, this is your year. This is your year to be a kid again, to experience the roller coaster of emotions that are about to take place. It's that time of year again. The air seems to be changing