As a slight chill slinks into the nights and the close of the baseball season is nigh, I feel compelled to write a few words about the sport. I am not a sports nut by any stretch of the imagination, but I do follow the Royals, Cheifs, Bears and spy an occasional hockey game. However, it is baseball that has always held me in thrall.
I collected baseball cards in my youth and and chased autographs like any young fan would. I have a baseball autographed by George Brett, a picture autographed by Nolan Ryan and faux autographed postcards from nearly the entire team of the ’87 Mets (we can’t always choose who we love and why, we just do). I played baseball from elementary school days through high school, and though I was never very good, I had a certain excitement when trotting onto the field. A game of catch always seemed to occur in a pocket dimension of bliss.
There is something magical about baseball. Something in the pace of the game, the sounds and the flight of the ball. The eldritch sign of the diamond, the positions of the nine men on the field weaving a spell over all who witness the proceedings. The fascination in the people and the numbers of the seemingly simple game. Whatever it may be, I love it. It doesn’t hurt that the Royals are deep in contention for the playoffs this year, a kind of magic indeed.
I wish I could write as eloquently about the sport as Joe Posnanski (a fine writer and fellow man bewitched by the Royals), but this small aside will have to suffice. In case you are in need of a baseball movie to ease the end of the season out to that sea of ethereal mist from which the season always returns each spring, I recommend The Natural, Mr. Baseball and Field of Dreams.
Someday I will write my vampire baseball novel, but it will have to wait for another season.