Friday, August 21, 2015

Putting the All in Baseball

You can learn a lot about geography, among other things, from watching the just getting underway 2015 Little League World Series. Unlike the Major League Baseball version of ‘world series,’ this is the real deal and I suspect the only reason we’ve yet to see a team from Antarctica qualify is because their cooler with the orange slices would have melted before the competition reached the double-elimination stage in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. 

Which may be just as well because good luck finding the lower half of the strike zone on a penguin (inside joke).

I may have casually mentioned in this space, perhaps in passing, two or three hundred thousand times, how much I love the game of baseball. This is the baseball I most love the most. It is a game, first and foremost which means it is intended to be fun. And it is played as hard (and fair) as each player on every team can possibly play and it is played with as much grace and élan (I love using that word because I think this is the perfect instance for it) as I wish ALL professional sports from everywhere in the same world these youngsters live could also be played. And thanks for NOT pointing out they rarely are.

Cynic that I am, and I’m guilty as charged, little league baseball allows me, and all of us I’d like to hope, the luxury to see the world, not as it is but as it can be. And at the end of every game these incredibly earnest, passionate young persons leave absolutely everything they have out there on the diamond, called that because it sparkles with the hopes of what may someday come to be.

If you’ve not tuned in to watch the games, grab some pine, rookie, and a handful of sunflower seeds or a large chaw of bubble-gum (good habits start early in these parts) and prepare to enjoy, no matter the weather or the score, because when it’s the Little League World Series, it’s a perfect day for baseball.
-bill kenny     

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