I was born to play baseball, unfortunately, throwing is unnatural and shoulder surgeries catch up with you. Baseball is more American than apple pie; with each new season, comes the opportunity of rebirth; to rise from worst to first- like the Detroit Tigers in 2006. The baseball diamond has always symbolized a sanctuary in my life. Growing up, it was the only place I could leave the world behind and live in the moments between the chalk. Baseball has been the backbone of this great nation for well over 100 years. At its best; the game is pure, beautiful- but it is most definitely human. I recently completed my MA thesis on crisis communication and Major League Baseball public relations. Throughout the evolution of the baseball– the national pastime has faced major crises that could have undermined the intended perception of the game; but as our American pastime, baseball has ultimately prevailed and given fans something to depend on like the Centennial Celebration to overcome the Great Depression when we needed it the most. With every pitch comes another opportunity to turn it all it around. Like the 2004 ALCS- down three games to none—the Boston Red Sox escape the odds defeating the Yankees and make history in what is referred to as the GREATEST BEST OF SEVEN COMEBACK EVER!
Baseball is the only romantic sport in my eyes. The other day I was describing Comerica Park on a Friday night to a lady friend and it wasn’t until I described the heavenly aroma on a sweet summer night that she had recalled that she had in fact been to a game. My most distinct memory of film as a child was Major League, as “Wild Thing” Rick Vaughn walked out of the right field bullpen at Cleveland Municipal to “Wild Thing” by Troggs. I was certain that I would one day walk out to a tune of my very own; with the feeling of electricity running through my veins as 40,000 people stood on their feet. What father doesn’t cherish his first catch with his son; and his son- his father like Roy Costella (Kevin Costner) in The Field of Dreams? The game is ingrained in my soul and the Roy Hobbs’ and Benny the Jet Rodriguez’s are the heroes young children believe in before they have even seen a game! I have played the game, coached the game, and these days take most pride in being acting Commissioner to a fantasy baseball keeper league in its fifth season. I describe it as the “big-leagues” of fantasy baseball. We’ve had 75 posts and it’s still a month till draft day—it seems each year we 26 year old men are reminded that there are few things that compare to the love a man has for his fantasy baseball team. Women see it as a threat—a self-serving happiness that blesses me with the ability to know more players on the Pittsburg Pirates than you could name on your favorite team.