Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The crack of the bat . . .

"The heart of the game is the crack of the bat." James Earl Jones spoke these words narrating a documentary on baseball as you begin your tour of the Louisville Slugger bat factory and museum. I heard these words several years ago, but their meaning did not hit me until last night.

Last night we had a double-header against Windy City. The first game went along just fine and the RiverHawks actually won, but the second game was one of those games that drug out forever and the home team was getting slaughtered. Everyone just wanted the torture to end. The air was cold and the wind made matters worse. At one point there were maybe 20 people left watching the game. The game did not end until well after midnight. All I could think about was going home.

Right when I was about to leave, another intern said: "Let's go play on the field." Everyone grabbed their gloves and I reluctantly followed. For the next thirty minutes or so we hit, catched, and threw just like we were kids again. I had not had such innocent fun in quite a long time. Playing ball on that minor league field in Rockford, Illinois took me back to a time when all was good about sports. A time when people did not play for fame or fortune, but for love of the game.

Whether we want to admit it, baseball is in each and everyone of us. Baseball is an allegory to the American dream. Baseball, like the American dream, has changed over time, but has stood the test of time.

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