my first baseball game

This probably comes as no surprise to those who know me, but I have never been to a major league baseball game. However, I have been to a few college football, basketball, and vollyball games, so it’s not so much that I am generally sports-illiterate as specifically baseball-illiterate.

Being the baseball nut that she is, Erin insisted that I go to an A’s game while she was visiting, so last night we went with my friend Bobak to see the A’s battle it out with the Mets. It was not much of a battle — the score was 5-0 and Erin called the end time of the game to the minute at 9:30. We had a good time, even though the game was rather fast and uneventful.

The most exciting part was when the Mets were about to score (bases loaded, 1 out, as I recall) and the A’s made a double-play to hold them scoreless. I think that part of the reason I never really got into baseball was the pace of the game — long stretches of nothing, essentially, followed by one or two moments of genuine tension and excitement. It makes for an anaerobic workout. This is, of course, where scoring comes in. Keeping score during a game requires you to pay attention to everything (although depending on the scorecard, the level of detail can vary), and thus you have to be really watching the game. Perhaps I will try it the next time I go.

As it turns out, we should have gone tonight, when bleacher seats are $2 and hotdogs are $1, but I think two games in a row might be a little too much for inexperienced me. But perhaps I will go to another game at some point — I still prefer football and basketball, but baseball has its place too, I suppose.

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10 thoughts on “my first baseball game

  1. Baseball doesn’t have the tactical appeal of football or the motion of basketball, bu there are skills involved. Pitching and hitting, in particular, are very complex and require a very different skill set.

    There is a poetry in it, though.

    Maybe if you come through town, we can catch a game at Wrigley. Or you can try and catch the Red Sox at Fenway. Those are great old parks.

  2. By the way, I didn’t lose my baseball cherry until the age of 24, so don’t feel too bad. Of course, you’ve lived in both Boston and in the Bay Area, where baseball is the sport of choice. So you have far less of an excuse than I.

  3. Let’s clarify. I called the end of game time down to the second, as Ginter caught the ball for the final out just as the stadium clocked clicked over to 9:30. (Okay, fine, the clock didn’t click or flip… digital clocks don’t do that.)

    Also, it may have taken quite some time, but I feel a small victory in last night.

  4. By comparison with other sports, baseball is a dusty game: one learns that in childhood when the field is more often new mown hay than actual lawn grass, much less astro-turf. This dust is a metaphor for “the pace of the game.” Folks who watch can sit back and discuss what is happening and why, have time to contemplate one another’s responses…actually have a conversation (I suppose that is what Stephen King was doing with his partner last season as they took notes for their book project: thinking, talking, taking notes, contemplating.) ~ It is the only game I have ever loved outside the true and traditional fieldwork — hunting, fishing, trapping — but then, they are not play. ~ And there is another thing reliable about baseball that is not, I think, true of football, basketball, and the like: the musical sighs of crowd delight and dismay. It comes in waves as matters proceed, carrying in full the heaves, the depths and heights of human emotion that compare favorably against, for instance, the incessant clattering echo of a basketball game. However, to compare these matters is probably not … mindful: they each have there place in kind with the site, scene, nature, of the event and chemistry of the players and spectators. Still, there you have it: something for each, something for all, like church ~ each congregant “owns” his or her own, and if s/he is wont to move along…well, then there is another just down the street or around the corner. From dust, to dust.

  5. First, I have to say to The Good Doctor and Dada that your observations on baseball are beautiful. The poetry, the metaphors…. just beautiful.

    My two cents: In addition to the things the above-referenced commenters said more eloquently than I could hope to, I think baseball is a game of teamwork which seems to lead to a bit more class.

    I try to picture “glory” for each sport.

    Glory in football is a touchdown dance–rubbing failure in the face of the defense and celebrating a single person’s talent.

    Glory in basketball is hanging off the rim after a breakaway slam. Again, a single person is putting himself in the spotlight for his achievement.

    Glory in baseball is someone hitting a homerun and leaping into a crowd of his teammates at home plate. Yes, it was a single person’s achievement, but it ends with the team.

    My opinion could be tainted. I’ve played on more than 15 softball teams but only three basketball teams and one non-competitive flag football team. But baseball’s slower pace is certainly overshadowed by its more meaningful qualities, in my opinion.

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