Baseball is a lot like life. It’s a day-to-day existence, full of ups and downs. You make the most of your opportunities in baseball as you do in life. – Ernie Harwell
I don’t know if I have much to add to that. Because it’s absolutely true. Once again, baseball season has started, and once again I’m super excited for it. Both those handsome little men above are going to be playing T-ball this year, so we picked up the equipment we needed and started practicing in the back yard. I can’t really explain how happy it made me. I’m excited for my boys to play. To win and lose, to achieve and fail. I’m excited for the lessons they’ll learn, and I hope they’re able to apply those lessons to other areas of their lives. I’m excited for the endless possibilities of another season, and the endless possibilities of our lives.
People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring. ~Rogers Hornsby
It’s a little ridiculous how excited I am, but BASEBALL is finally here! I love baseball season anyway, but this year I’m especially excited. Part of it is due to my team, the Angels, making some huge offseason acquisitions that will most certainly help them this season. But I’m mainly excited for another reason. We’ve been taking our kids to baseball games pretty much since they were born. My boys are now 6 and 5, and toward the end of last season they started to get more into it. At the last game we went to I even brought scorecards so they could keep track of what was happening on the field. I don’t know if it’s the time of year, or if they’re just feeding off some subconscious energy, but the past few weeks my boys have been asking us when they’re going to go to another Angels game. And I couldn’t be more happy.
As I’ve talked about in posts for the last couple years, (here and here) baseball means much more to me than just a game. Although not perfect, it stands for many things I believe in, and I know my kids can grow and learn and become good people as a result of paying attention to the game. I recently came across this video of an incident that happened in 1976.
I don’t know why those two men were trying to burn the American flag, but I can’t help but be inspired by Rick Monday’s actions. He saw something he didn’t approve of happening, and he took action. There’s a saying in baseball that no matter how good you are, you’re going to win a third of the time, and you’re going to lose a third of the time, and it’s what you do with the other third that matters. Just like in baseball, we’re all going to have good experiences and bad ones. Good days and horrible ones. It’s what we do with them that matters. We decide how to act when put in those situations. We can stand by and watch or we can take action and stand up for what we believe in. I hope my kids can learn that, and I’m perfectly fine if they learn it from watching baseball.
PS. It’s just darn exciting.
I love this time of year. March Madness is winding down, the NBA is heading into finals, and the beautiful sport of baseball is starting its season. Today is a great day, because today is Opening Day. Last year I talked about baseball and how it reflects life in a lot of ways, and I still think it does. Last season was rough for Angels fans, but a great one for Giants fans. The Angels beat the Giants in the 2002 World Series. Last year the Giants won it all and the Angels finished third in their division, not even making the playoffs. That’s how baseball goes. That’s how life goes.
But today, everyone is in first place. Every team has a clean slate and no losses to weigh them down. Everybody has a chance to hold that trophy high on a chilly autumn night. Between now and then will be months of blood and sweat and tears. There will be winners and losers, heroes and villains, moments of success and moments where it falls inches short. We’ll be inspired and dejected. Thrilled and dismayed. And every day there will be a chance to go out and prove that yesterday wasn’t a fluke, or that yesterday won’t ever happen again. There will be a chance to prove that today can be overcome, no matter who the opponent is. That’s baseball. That’s life. I couldn’t be more happy to be alive today.
First of all, I grew up calling the sport soccer. That’s just what we call it here. And it turns out, according to this article, the British were the first people to call is soccer. So yeah, I’m gonna keep calling it soccer. With that out of the way, if you’ve been following the World Cup at all, you’ve probably seen Landon Donovan’s game-winning goal. It was a pretty amazing moment. And if not, here it is: (sorry for the bad quality)
I love the announcer’s call: “Oh, can you believe this? Goal! Goal! USA!” And now today someone has put together a video of a bunch of people watching the game and reacting to the goal. It’s pretty awesome. Yeah, it’s a little corny, but it makes me proud of our country and our team. Tomorrow’s game against Ghana is huge. I hope we can pull it off. But even if we don’t, the team has still given us a game and a goal to remember for a long, long time.
I won’t get into sports much on this site, but I love playing and watching them. The baseball season has officially started and I’m excited for the long road ahead. There’s something about baseball that just makes my soul happy. It’s hard to explain. Growing up, I mostly followed Bo Jackson, my favorite player. I wanted to be a two-sport superstar just like him. Obviously that didn’t pan out, but I still remember the excitement I had whenever I got to see him play. It felt like something extraordinary could happen at any moment, and often it did.
Maybe one of the reasons I like sports is the ability of athletes to dazzle us with their prowess. Not much about sports has changed in the course of my lifetime. Yet every night ESPN fills an hour with highlights of these men and women doing spectacular things, pushing themselves to the limit and past, and achieving goals once thought impossible.
In his baseball career, Bo Jackson played for three Major League teams, therefore I rooted for those teams. He played the longest for the Kansas City Royals, then after a hip injury sustained in the NFL playoffs, had a two-year stint with the Chicago White Sox. He was traded to the then-California Angels, where he played for the 1994 season and then quietly retired. Fast-forward to 2002, I was sort of a baseball free agent, didn’t really have a team to call my own. In July I had just become engaged to my wife, and her family were rabid Anaheim Angels fans. I followed the team through the season and as luck would have it, watched them win their first and only World Series that year. It’s like it was meant to be. Bo Jackson had led me here and my wife and her family cemented it.
We now live close enough to Angel Stadium that we’re able to go to a few games every season. My two boys love going, and it’s a thrill to see their excitement. There’s a lot wrong with professional sports today, for sure. But underneath it all is a reflection of the struggles we all go through in our lives, distilled down to opposing colors, to balls and strikes, to blown calls and the idea of never giving up until the final out is called. I hope my boys (and little girl) will grow up feeling the same way I do. I hope they have heroes and dreams they can follow, and I hope neither let them down. It’s the first day of the season, and just like in life, the possibilities are endless.