After all

Angels home game, Edison Field, April 2003

Angels home game, Edison Field, April 2003

Though we know
everything is bounded
by time,
there is, after all,
baseball,
in which time has its function,
but does not rule.

— from the poem “National Pastime by Bill Mayer

Break free of time today, or sometime soon, even if only for a few minutes.  A baseball park is an ideal place to do that — little league, high school, AAA, even a deserted lot with aging wooden bleachers.  If you can’t go to a diamond in person, go there in your mind, perhaps via the poem linked above, ably read by Garrison Keillor.

“Time has its function, but does not rule.”  Among many other lessons it teaches us, this is perhaps baseball’s finest truth.

24 Comments

  1. Being a Brit, I am completely bewildered by baseball… but I like the sentiment and I will shamelessly substitute cricket instead. After all, as George Bernard Shaw said “The English are not a very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity.”

    • I love that quote! I’m a fan of Shaw’s plays but I had never heard that quote before, or if I did, I didn’t remember it. Cricket is probably as good or better a way to escape. I don’t know anything about it except that our American game of baseball is said to have come from it.

  2. raynard

    Julia, I think awhile back I quoted” Baseball is a young man’s game. Men make” lots of money to play ” a young man’s game”.. Moral for me is 1 a trip back in time to a happier place. 2 you gotta love what you do and have a heart ( sorta like my job , baking, cooking or any talent and gift God blessed you to share with other.. Be blessed

    • Raynard, I agree! There are many who love baseball and would have loved the chance to get paid any amount for playing it. Every time I hear a major league salary dispute, I think that anyone who doesn’t love the game enough to play it for however many millions of dollars (!) are being offered, doesn’t love it enough to play it at all. I realize their careers are short and they’re trying to make as much as they can while they still can, but I’d bet most of them, if it really came down to it, would play for half the salary they make in the big league (and of course, in the minors they played for way less than half). As the wonderful Broadway baseball song goes, “You gotta have heart.”

  3. LB

    The timing of this is perfect!
    While I have no physical time to get to a ball park, or any place else for that matter, I am going to see 30 minutes of a game on TV.
    Yep, Radford University is playing in it’s first ever NCAA Tounament and has one it’s first two games. Very exciting! So in between healthcare work and campaign work, I’ll get to visit with some friends and watch a little bit of baseball (even though I embarrass them with my lack of knowledge about the game).
    Thinking of you and your family!

    • LB, I’ve been thinking of you lots and wondering how it’s going “on the trail.” Congrats on making it to the tournament! One of the great things about baseball is that it’s easy to enjoy it without a deep, encyclopedic knowledge of the game such as my husband and older son have. I cannot remember or totally understand the intricacies such as infield fly rule or other details, but that never stopped me from having great fun watching it. Hope RU makes it three for zero tonight! Is it best of five, or best of seven? Either way, a victory tonight should pretty much seal the deal. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

    • What fun, LB. Got Radford!

  4. Julia,
    Baseball is timeless and can be enjoyed in any likeness.
    In my youth our diamond was formed by a tree as first base, a rock outgrowth as second, a bush as third and a cardboard box bottom as home plate. All on a 30 degree inclined hill, which during the winter served our sledding well.
    -Alan

    • Alan, I get a kick out of remembering how creative we could be with what we considered “natural” bases. Water meter covers, carport poles, sidewalk cracks; as long as the basic layout was right, anything would serve. I don’t remember ever dealing with a 30-degree incline, though! Assuming home plate was at the bottom of it, the pitcher would have a natural advantage. And come to think of it, so would the fielders. I wonder how many big league hitters once played sandlot-style ball while dealing with an incline. Thanks for sharing your childhood memories of these wonderful makeshift playing fields. I imagine they are fairly universal.

  5. Amy

    Remember SNL, “Baseball been very, very good to me!!” It was a lark but I do love the game. I too have zero knowledge about a lot of it but I do love to watch and I was never any good but I sure did love to play. Maybe you can come over to a PNats game one night. The stadium is only 5 miles from the house. We love the farm teams the best. Take care of you.

    • I love that SNL skit. “Football? I dunno. Basketball? I dunno.” 😀 Baseball has been very, very good to so many of us, not just Chico. Drew has decided, as of the last time I talked with him about it, to embrace the minor leagues in preference over MLB. I think he was more than a little disenchanted with the Braves abandoning their legendary downtown site. We would love to catch a farm game with you sometime. We have such idyllic times when we are able to attend the Norfolk Tides game on Labor Day weekend with the folks from CP of Virginia. It feels like a real-life field of dreams.

  6. Good morning, Julia! Although it’s raining today, I think that thus is a great idea, so I can plan ahead and indulge on another day.
    Today is a “hot cup of tea” day. I’ll be thinking of you!

    • Susan, rainy here too — and so cold, I actually wished I had worn a jacket while walking last evening, and cut my route a bit short. It’s been a hot tea day yesterday AND today…but I’m not complaining! Thanks for thinking of me! I think of you too.

  7. Julia, I think this would be a great summer to make a “family Pelican baseball game night” happen! I’ll just put an invitation out there and see how many RSVP. I might be pleasantly surprised. I’ll buy them some “peanuts and Cracker Jacks”…..😉 I remember you’ve shared many baseball photos of Jeff, Matt, and Drew here. Oh, how about the yard stick (baseball bat) used to measure baby Grady? I love that! I hope all is well on your June Verandah! Love, Sheila

    • Sheila, your comment about peanuts and Cracker Jacks reminded me of a favorite memory after we had attended Game 3 of the 1991 World Series, the first-ever World Series game played in Atlanta. We had actually flown into Atlanta from California after my mother got us tickets from a scalper. We got there early on the day of the game, along with seemingly a good chunk of the metro Atlanta population, to bask in the party atmosphere and celebrate. The game didn’t get started until after 8:00 and went over four hours, with the Braves pulling a thrilling sudden victory in a close play at home with two outs in the bottom of the 12th. By the time Daddy finally picked us up (after the crowds and celebration died down somewhat) we immediately jumped in the car and started trying to figure out some way to get tickets for the next day’s game. “You’ve been here all day! Haven’t you had enough of baseball for now?” Daddy asked incredulously. And then I said the line I will never again have as perfect an opportunity to say: “I don’t care if I NEVER get back!” 😀

      • Sheila

        And that my friends is a “Juliaism”! 😂

  8. I’m taking my break by reading blogs written by people I love. Slinky is next to me on the desk having a long ‘bath’. Thanks for the moment, Julia. xoxox

    • Sounds great to me, Alys! I’m glad Slinky takes good advantage of your blogging time.

  9. Ann

    Julia,
    Have you ever seen George Carlin’s comedy routine on Baseball vs. Football? It’s very funny and G rated. Several versions on You Tube.

    • Ann, I have heard it years ago, but I have forgotten most of it. I’ll have to look it up. I remember his euphoric (exaggerated) expression when he said “in baseball, you go HOME!” Thanks for reminding me of that funny skit. Carlin was always good, but especially so when he kept things a bit cleaner.

  10. I took time for a 60 mile drive in the rain today just to explore a lake area I’m photographing this coming weekend. The difference will be the 400 kids fishing in that same small area and a temperature rise of about 30 degrees.

    • WOW, those two differences together will make quite a change. Good luck! It sounds like fun.

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