When Shutterday Saturday asked to tell some aspect of what I do, I could have chosen any number of activities, but today it is time to relate, that I am passionate about watching and playing baseball. Oregon's major league team is the Seattle Mariners and fortunately their games are broadcast in Bend on TV and radio. Last weekend, I traveled North to attend the opening of inter-league play and framed this photo of two remarkable Mariner players, Mike Sweeney and Ken Griffey, Jr., sitting elbow to elbow. Both of these guys have had storied careers and will be rewarded entry into baseball's Hall of Fame.
Since childhood, I have spent countless hours captivated by this sport. To an outsider, it is a slow and strange game with far too many rules and statistics. It is played without a clock and the team on defense has the ball. It has a world series played by solely American teams and unlike other team sports, the players seem to stand around aimlessly inactive until suddenly the ball comes to them.
That being said, I am excited by the staccato-like pressure of the game. Stand at bat and feel challenged to hit the ball. Be in the field and catch the fly ball or the grounder. Make a split-second decision to throw the ball accurately to the right place. It is the heart-throb which comes from the unpredictable and of its anticipation.
Also the stadium is rich with color, sights, and odors of food. Missing is the aggression on the field and in the stands, something all too common in other team sports. The fan's joy is found in the game itself. I embrace this feeling totally and look forward to tonight's Mariner game against the Angels. It will be, in the words of a famous song, ".... a shame if they lose, but that's the ol' ballgame"