For me, there’s nothing more nostalgic (whether it was from 7 years of age to a couple of years ago) than rushing onto the field on opening season night to the sound of “Play Ball!” It doesn’t matter how many years I’ve thrown that ball around, swung that bat, jumped out of the way of an oncoming runner while turning a double, or hearing the swooshing sound of dirt rubbing the pants leg beneath my thigh as my cleats rested against the bag and my torso rested beneath a ball-filled glove – I’ve never tired of it. I’ve anticipated that wonderful moment every year I’ve played as much as the moments I’ve lain beneath that glove in anticipation of the umpire’s call (which would determine if I got to hang out for at least another play or not).
I’ve lost track of the number of years that I’ve popped fat bubbles while sliding into bases, been dragged by teammates victoriously through the mud, acted like a tee-baller rushing to beat a teammate to a fly ball during practices, or lost my voice yelling encouragement from the dug-out. For the in-between years that I had to miss due to work or family/life commitments, I know I lost a small part of myself.
bat meets ball on the sweet spot
young lovers’ first kiss