Baseball, like all sports, has meaning. It has feeling, emotion, and power.
But more so, it has an impact.
Not everyone grows up playing a sport, or maybe even watching one, but sports are still... there. The whole time, even if during childhood someone is completely unaffected by the world of sports, they still happen. They linger in the minds of so many that even if someone is completely unaffected by sports, they are still impacted.
You may have grown up not caring about sports at all. You might not even know what a touchdown is to this day. However, no matter what age you are now, you were once in one way, shape, or form, impacted by sports.
More specifically, the impact that the sport of baseball has had on many, myself included, is what brings me to writing this today.
If you were born in the 1930's, 40's, or 50's you were impacted by Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball. Still, to this day, Robinson reflects a powerful statement and sense of freedom by all African-Americans.
If you were born in the 1960's, or 70's you were part of baseball going from a game or sport to being a lifestyle. The 60's and 70's were a confusing time in America. In this time period, there was the Vietnam War, Cuban Missile Crisis, and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Yet, baseball was always there to distract you.
If you were born in the 1980's, you were impacted by the Cold War, the Berlin Wall, and the Chernobyl crisis. This decade also had some of the most memorable baseball moments as well, including Bill Buckner's continuation of the Boston Red Sox curse, Kirk Gibson's iconic home run in the World Series, and Pete Rose setting the all-time hit record.
And if you were born after that, baseball made a difference in America after September 11, 2001. Baseball turned our heads away from the pain and forced us into looking towards the future. Baseball reminded us all that no matter what, it will always be there for us when we need to escape for nine innings.
And that brings me to how baseball has impacted my life.
I've played baseball, which created lifelong friendships, and taught me many valuable life lessons. I've listened to baseball, because of that inner feeling of pure joy I felt when I was younger and went on camping trips and had no television, but the one thing that would just barely come through the radio waves was Dave Niehaus' voice. I've watched, spectated, yelled, cried, hoped, laughed. All because of baseball. And now, in this time of my life, I choose to write about baseball. I choose to write about it to share the meaning of it in so many people's hearts. The feeling of baseball, the emotion of it, the power of it, and now, the impact that baseball has on me, and you.
Photo Credits: Jackie Robinson: Google, labeled for reuse.
Bill Buckner: Stan Grossfeld, Boston Globe/AP Photo