For My Father...
It's Spring. Yes, there's snow on the ground in Michigan and the temperature won't get above freezing. Doesn't matter. It's Spring. Sweet Spring. Want proof? Today the Pitchers and Catchers are reporting for Spring Training.
For the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of the song of the birds has come,
And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.
Those words were spoken each Spring Training by the man pictured here: Ernie Harwell, the now retired Voice of the Tigers.
I know some of you won't care, but allow me my eccentricities. This is important to me, it keeps me sane, it gives me breath. The beginning of baseball season isn't about sports, it's about passage. It's about the relationship I had with my father, a relationship similar to the one Kevin Kostner had with his father in "Field of Dreams". I can't tell you how pained I was as the main character struggled with his past.
So baseball to me isn't a sport, it's so much more.
Or as James Earl Jones spoke the words with greater eloquence :
The one constant through all the years has been baseball. As America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers - it's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again - baseball has marked the time. This field, this game is a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again.
So today is the first day of Spring. I won't talk about what teams stand a chance, or what players are up or down. This is the day the pitchers and catchers report. That's enough for me.