It has been a long, cold winter. Over the last five months, we have braved unusually bitter temperatures, unusually bitter disappointments with our government, discord in the world at large, and the emergence of Meghan Trainor as a thing.
But today, as we emerge from yet another unusually late brutal national cold snap, people all across America will begin a ritual. They will wake up, don their favorite jersey, and dust off their worn baseball caps. They will lie to bosses about where they will be that day, and their bosses will knowingly accept their lies. They will get in their cars, fight traffic, brave stadium parking, and trudge their way through the bowels of stadiums across America – still grumbling with the sense that things are not quite right in the world.
But then… but then. Then they will emerge into the sunshine and behold what they have waited all these months to see. The beautiful, cross cut grass, emblazoned with tributes to the return of baseball and the glory of America. Baseball players will be finishing off their majestic displays of power during batting practice, and grounds crews will be at work manicuring the characteristic red clay dirt of the infield to perfection. The infield will take their positions to warm up and the pitcher will start to take his warm up pitches. And when they hear the first “POW” of a major league fastball touching a catcher’s mitt, sitting under the warm sunshine with a piping hot dog in one hand and an ice cold beer in the other, they will remember:
It’s a grand thing, to be alive, and America is a great place for your life to unfold, and all of us who were lucky enough to be born here or wise enough to come here have a lot to be thankful for. And the ritual and pageantry of baseball is not nearly the least of them.
Play ball, America. Welcome back, baseball.