Things I Love About Baseball: Stepping Into the Batters Box

This afternoon while I was still at work, my radio queued up to the Mariners game, Rick Rizzs’ voice wafted magical words  across my internet connection.

“Ichiro steps into the box to lead off the game.”

I’ve been a baseball fan for almost 25 years. But the leadoff hitter stepping into the batter’s box for the first time still gives me a little spurt of excitement.

The chalk lines surrounding the batter’s box are perfect; the players’ uniforms are still pristine.  You could end up watching a pitcher’s duel or a slug fest. There’s a pretty good chance you’ll see something you’ve never seen before.

(In the case of  Mariner games this year, you’re either going to enjoy an exciting game or catch a nap brought to you by extreme boredom.)

The lead off hitter stepping into the box is the last sentence of the prologue and the first sentence in the story of a game that could take any number of turns.

1 thought on “Things I Love About Baseball: Stepping Into the Batters Box

  1. I left a comment for your colleague in crime (think that needs to be hyphenated) but I just wanted to add a couple of thoughts here.

    It’s amazing how connected baseball history is…reading what you wrote about your father, it made me reminisce about playing catch with my dad in the backyard, how my Uncle Frank gave me a baseball card of an obscure Chicago White Sox player named Claudell Washington way back in 1979 and I became a lifelong fan of a franchise that hadn’t won the World Series since 1917…and, in fact, the Sox were more known for the Black Sox Scandal and only being in one World Series (1959) since then, thank God for 2005.

    My father never loved baseball or sports like I did, but he always supported my playing and even “pushed” me into playing soccer when i was young. His philosophy was always just give something a try, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to play anymore. He was almost the perfect father, he never lost his temper or became impatient, cursed, drank, argued with anyone…luckily, that’s the worst thing that ever happened in my life, and I was already an adult when he passed away. Even then, it took 3 years to really come to terms with it.

    Another “tricky” thing he did was encouraging me to read by letting me devour anything about sports…it’s how I came to discover Roberto Clemente and become a lifelong admirer of his accomplishments on and off the field. In fact, when I was in Pittsburgh, I just had to go into the building that still has homeplate encased in glass from the original Forbes Field and also checking out the remaining pat of the outfield wall that’s now part of the Pitt U. campus. Robert F. Kennedy would probably be #2 for me. In many ways, they both inspired me to do non-profit/volunteer work and spend 2 years as an AmeriCorps member.

    So we have Roberto Clemente, a love of dogs, government and history (my minors, actually an English major at the University of Iowa), baseball (I worked for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor league team, the Augusta GreenJackets, for two seasons after my MS in Sports Admin) and life philosophy, lol.

    Funny thing that I married a Russian model who ended up talking/pouting non-stop for 3 full innings at her first MLB game (Royals/White Sox in KC), to the point where I brought her and her friend home and went back to watch the end of the game by myself.

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