|Nice catch, Nathan! Practice hard!|
For me, admittedly good or bad, the start of the baseball season is about as close to a religious experience as you can get without it being a religious experience. There is something about the aromas of freshly cut spring grass and well-oiled leather gloves coupled with the sound of the crack of the bat that evoke a visceral reaction in my being.
It has been that way since I was a kid playing ball on a knee-skinning, asphalt-paved street corner intersection in the city of Chicago, where the four sewer covers served as bases and center field was an empty lot split by a power pole. And where the Cubbies were already decades removed from a World Series win, and that was 65 years ago.
In those days Burt Wilson was the Cubs radio broadcaster (long before Harry Caray) and the team's outfield consisted of Hank Sauer (in left field) whom son Doug and I subsequently met at a U of Portland game in the 80’s in which he was scouting for the Giants, Andy Pafko (center) and Frankie Baumholtz (right). They were, unfortunately, “average or slightly above” players who have seemed to define the Cubs for almost a century now. This year, however, could be different. O, wait; we’ve said that for all of our lives, haven’t we?
Suffice it to say that when the MLB season begins -- usually right around Easter -- life appropriately seems to click into focus for me. Daylight hours are increasing, grass is freshly green, trees are bursting into fragrant bloom, taxes are done, and baseball games count.
Can it get any better than this?