Long before the kids come home and start up a game in the backyard, I catch my mind wandering with thoughts of the upcoming season. Maybe it’s the fact that signs of spring are poking up all over, or maybe it’s the breeze coming through the windows at night – similar to the breezes I feel in the early part of the season, or in the postseason.
I enjoy college football and love NFL football. However, Major League Baseball has served as the soundtrack of my life.
The sounds have sometimes been in the foreground.
I have memories of an occasional trip from Schenectady, NY to the Bronx, via charter bus, to see the Yankees play. The roar of the crowds and the excitement of seeing my boyhood heroes play – Thurman Munson, Graig Nettles, Reggie Jackson and Ron Guidry. The trips were rare. Listening to the Yankees’ games on the radio and television served as the background music of my youth.
The sound of a clear crack of the bat, in Fulton County Stadium, during a time when winning was a rarity. The crowds were so sparse; it almost seemed like a “family only” game.
Several years passed until winning became a normal occurrence – Division Title banners and red foam tomahawks began to become part of the landscape.
As I got older, trips to Fulton County Stadium and later on Turner Field became much more frequent and more special, as I had the chance to share the experience of being a baseball fan with my children.
Most times, however, baseball’s song plays in the background.
I’ve traveled for business, cut grass, painted rooms, worked on various projects, and have fallen asleep with baseball’s song playing in the background.
I’m looking forward to the crack of the bats, the roar of the crowds, the familiar voices of my favorite play-by-play announcers, and the many new memories that will be created with my family.
I can almost smell the grass, at Turner Field and in my own yard, as I await the coming season and the words that seem to start up my favorite song.