Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"...about baseball and boys, poetry and dreams..."

The title of today's post is from the one yesterday in which I said "I had a big sweeping, heartfelt piece about baseball and  boys, poetry and dreams, but..."  Well, I guess there are no buts today.  Let's go to the pictures:

 Z did this one, and I am not sure if it is a particular player or not, those loyalties are fickle.  I love his old-timey hat and he's got his eye protection on.  There is a slight irregularity here in that he has his glove on and he is holding a bat and the ball's coming in, looks like a sinker.  The home team is winning through four and there is a good crowd at the old ball park today.

Here's one from N.   This is a game between the Reds and the Pirates.  Looks like the Pirates have the bases loaded but I think Drew's about to snag a popup for the final out

And finally this is the same game from the Blimp.  Pretty good representation of Great American, on the right is the walkway with that wonderful statue of the battery.

I grew up in rural Ohio in the late sixties and early seventies.  In the school district I went to there were three sports: football, football and football, and it is that I sport I grew up playing and internalizing.  I mean we played two-on-two with my neighbors nearly everyday after school until Christmas at least.  I played from Pee-Wee through my Junior year of high school.  I never really loved football, though.  Football is, and I may get in trouble here, a good game for boys.  There is hitting and running and lots of rough action, the breaks are frequent and short and the goals are easy to discern, assessable. It's an obvious game.

At the time The Big Red Machine was ruling Cincinnati and of course I knew how good they were, saw a couple games as a kid, and in general knew enough to get through a sandlot game.  But it wasn't until I was much older, probably in my thirties, that I began to really see baseball.  It is a sport of subtlety and intrigue, power and stealth, rhythmic in meter and without a doubt, poetic.  It is a game you never come to know fully and that's why I keep watching, keep wondering, and keep rooting for the home team.

We play a lot of baseball around here, a day hardly goes by from Spring to late Fall that we don't throw a little in the backyard or go to the park for some BP.  I coached their team last Spring (signups are soon for next season) and we make a few Reds games every year.  I think my boys are beginning to internalize the sport, make it their own.  I guess I did that, and, I would have to say I did it consciously, deciding to make baseball the sport of choice for them.

Of course the consequence of that decision is the wistful wishing all boys go through; dreaming of becoming a professional ball-player.  Dream on boys, I say with some reluctance, but when, when, when should I tell them that dreams don't always come true, that God may have other plans, that they may not be good enough?

Dreams are a difficult subject for me.  The other day N and I had a conversation.  He asked me if I went to college, I said that I had.  He asked me what I did there and I told him I studied acting.  He asked me if I ever did "that."  Meaning, acting, I assumed.  "No son, not really."  (Honestly I do call them 'son.')

"Why didn't you, ever, I mean, get to do that thing?  Acting?"  he asked.

"Because, if I had I wouldn't ever have met you."  I answered with a whisper of a tear in my eye.

If my dreams would have come true, their dreams would never have been.  That's a lot to think about and damned difficult to explain.

From Marci's '...things you don't expect to hear from the backseat...'

"Mom can I have salami as a side dish?"

That's my boy, now pass me the Crestor...

No comments:

Post a Comment