ATLANTA - Say it ain’t so!
Baseball, like the world itself, has been thrust into the great unknown.
A game, built on rules, traditions and other certainties, is dealing with something it has never experienced in the nearly 200 years of its existence.
We were supposed to be celebrating Opening Day today (It’s not a national holiday but it ought to be!). Instead we wait - in a coronavirus delay!
The natural inclination for this baseball fan is to become melancholy and mourn the loss of the game. But we haven’t lost it. It will be back.
“I just want to play baseball.” – David Ortiz
Still, I could use a famous Freddie Freeman hug right about now!
All spring training games were cancelled and the start of a new season has been delayed by at least a couple of weeks.
There have been other disruptions. Labor strife, wars, an earthquake, 9/11… but we always knew baseball would come back. And we know it will again. It’s just the uncertainty of of it all that chills us.
“To me, baseball has always been a reflection of life. Like life, it adjusts. It survives everything.” – Willie Stargell
Major League Baseball is going through a wide range of plans and scenarios designed to get the game back up and running just as soon as it is humanly possible. Once the okay is given by appropriate governing bodies, fans will be racing to the nearest stadium.
With football still five months away from its scheduled start, baseball, America’s favorite pastime, has a chance to lead the way out of the darkness.
“One of the beautiful things about baseball is that every once in a while you come into a situation where you want to, and where you have to, reach down and prove something.” – Nolan Ryan
And oh, how I miss Skip, Pete and Ernie at a time like this. Their voices would be like sweet medicine for the soul!
"Here comes Bream! Here's the throw to the plate! He iiiiiiiisssssssss ...safe! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! ... Braves win!” —Skip Caray/1992 NLCS Game 7.
Baseball has always been a reflection of American life - a barometer of its psyche.
Opening day —when it comes— will still be a magical day for many of us. Like your first trip to Disney World. And the way entering a great stadium for the first time takes your breath away, and makes your heart beat a little faster.
“Baseball is more than a game to me, it’s a religion.” – Bill Klem
When it returns we will not complain about the interruption to our lives. Or for having to put asterisks by all the 2020 statistics. We’ll just be glad it’s back. The wait will be worth it!
“Baseball was, is and always will be to me the best game in the world.” – Babe Ruth
Never give up. Never lose hope. For as Yogi Berra once said: “The game of baseball isn’t over until it’s over.”
"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth
So, in this age of millennial know-how, we draw inspiration from the most senior among us - who’ve been through moments like this; The Great Depression and World War II, for wisdom and perspective.
Know this.. when baseball returns, we will know.. America is back!
"I see great things in baseball. It's our game, the American game. It will repair our losses and be a blessing to us all." - Bull Durham