Scout’s Eye: Why Baseball Is The Best Sport

Last night and today, I was inundated with Trump-mania or was it Trump-insaneia? Emails and texts were coming in like wild fire. The amount of bad news items we hear on a daily basis is staggering. So when my good friend Joe Latona emailed me today, I thought ok here comes another thing about the unstable world we live in today. Instead he wrote: “Bill:  Why baseball will always be the best sport: We went to the Phillies/Mets game on Sunday in Philadelphia and saw players from all over the world, seeing eye dogs being trained for being in large crowds, kids in wheelchairs in special seating, stadium employees engaging us in pleasant conversation, tens of thousands of people enjoying a day in the sun eating hot dogs, cotton candy and other assorted junk and the national anthem performed by a choir.  The only booing (and very limited) was when the Phillies wound up with two men on third base.  We were seated in a place where the likelihood of a foul ball was probably 1% yet the little boys in front of us had their mitts on for every minute of the seven innings we were there.” Joe also pointed out that the place was filled to see two teams who are not going anywhere.

It got me thinking about what this game means to people. It isn’t always about balls and strikes and numbers. It brings us together as a people. All ages, genders nationalities and races. Think about it, have you ever seen a person going to a game who was not happy? We will spend huge amounts of hard earned money to be entertained. We have always looked for  distractions to take our minds off of the not so happy days in our lives. Baseball is one of those places where we feel good things are going to happen. I have seen the transformation of myself, from angry traveler who had to traverse impossible roadways and traffic to get to a game, to a smiling excited kid as I go through the gate on my way to my seat. The magic that happens every time I go to a baseball game is amazing. It has held me captive since I was 8 years old. Just the sight of the enormous building when I arrive gets me excited.

When I come off the elevator and walk to the press box of any major league stadium, I turn a corner, walk through a hallway and then Boom, there it is in all its amazing glory. Seats, grass, dirt and grandstands rising to the sky. Players shagging flies, doing long tosses, stretching and laughing with each other. I get to the ballpark early, sometimes 3 hours before the game starts. I don’t have to be there that early, I want to and will usually leave when the parking lot is empty. The bad news in the world will be there waiting for me the next morning. But the thought of seeing so many people, strangers from all walks of life enjoying a ball game together gives me hope. There are a lot of good people out there who just want to enjoy life and baseball gives them that opportunity.

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