Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on February 14, an appropriate date for those of us who love the game. With the regular season just around the corner I’m feeling a bit nostalgic; baseball has a way of doing that to me.
As they say in the movies, “The following is based on true events…”
There’s just something about throwing a baseball back and forth with a willing partner. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but for me, it’s somehow therapeutic. Maybe it’s the rhythm we get into. Maybe it’s the conversation that occurs during the ‘catch’. Maybe it’s the satisfying pop of the baseball when it hits the sweet spot of the well-worn glove’s pocket. Maybe it’s the delight of reaching for a wayward throw that I thought I wouldn’t get, but somehow did. Maybe it’s the feeling of accomplishment I get from putting the ball within easy reach of my ‘catch’ partner, most of the time. Maybe it’s the feeling I get from taking part in what has been referred to as America’s Pastime since just after the Civil War (pre-TV and video games, of course). Maybe it’s the recollection of my playing days as a kid long ago. Maybe it’s the wakening of long-dormant and never-fulfilled dreams of Big League glory induced by the aroma of oiled leather. Maybe it’s the memories of having a catch with firstborn, Krystina, when she was playing Bobby Sox softball and wanting to hone her skills. Maybe it’s the memories of having a catch with son, Jake, many summer evenings after work during his playing days. Maybe it’s the fact that daughter, Kate, knowing I will usually take a detour over to the baseball section of a sporting goods store even though we’re there just to buy running shoes, asks to have a catch with me. Especially considering that swimming is and always has been her sport. Maybe it’s a combination of all the above.
I hope I remembered to tell them ‘good game’ afterward. Because that’s the only kind there is.