and if I ever forget, I remember in October.
Baseball is on the TV, coming out of the computer, in headphones, interrupting brief phone calls while scores are shouted across airports.
I remember when I go to his office and see baseballs line the shelves – baseballs I box up and send out of the house every few months, having declared, years ago, when declarations felt important, “There will be no baseballs in this house. I’m going for an aesthetic here.”
I married in…and it’s been a slow assimilation.
For our wedding I had a wooden bat engraved and for our ten-year I had a new one engraved and so in June I stood there in Dick’s Sporting Goods just asI had as an almost -bride and in horror realized that in ten years of marriage I had learned NOTHING MORE about bats. Why did they vary in price? Do I just go with the prettiest color? Why is this awkward sales boy not helpful???
I can’t do the numbers of it all. Batting averages, ERAs, on base percentages, slugging percentages, on base plus slugging…I glaze. I actually have come home from major league games, in major league stadiums, unaware who won the game. It didn’t matter to me. Is that wrong? I can tell you what I thought of Cincinatti’s famous Skyline Chili, that Citi Field houses a Alyssa Milano-inspired women’s denim boutique in Section 306, and that whatever “Americana” means, Wrigley Field is it and has tons of it.
I can’t do the numbers, but I can do the stories. I know “Enter Sandman” feels more emotional than some other Metallica hits and I know why no one else gets to be number 42.
And lately, perhaps due to chronic fatigue, rapid aging, or my tendency to get overworked anticipating events in my own small life, I’ve come to appreciate the rhythm.
It’s a slow dance these games. But they are steady and incremental. No halves in baseball, no quarters. No clock, help. us. all. Just three outs over and over again.
“It’s a big one tonight,” Travis will pronouce, rattling off numbers and acronyms and something about a wild card (Uno anyone?) On goes the TV, and even with all the hype of “post-season” - it’s three outs and then three outs, then fourteen commercials for Taco Bell, and three outs.
“They just don’t seem to hit it that much,” I complained once. “Hits that matter at least.” Apparently the defense has the ball in this sport…meaning?
Meaning, in my nacho-eating, crowd watching, jumbotron- hoping analysis, in the end, it’s those outs that complete the game. Hits are scattered in, raising the score, (slightly) elevating the excitement. But the rhythm remains. Three outs. Sure, steady and one at a time.
(Yes, there is a baby strapped to me. Yes, I am totally thinking about that Alyssa Milano store.)