It's always nice when the rainy Spring weather finally pushes off for a while and allows some sunshine to show up during the day. Everybody seems to have a little more bounce in their step when the skies are bright blue and there's a bit of green growing everywhere you see.
My favorite green is at the baseball field, and so I spend a lot of my extra time going to Spring ball games--pro, semi-pro, even high-school games. Baseball is just better in person; something about the way the field looks, and the way you can watch everything happening in big-picture style, it just can't be beat. I love football, in the fall, but there's no comparison--football's a perfect TV sport, but baseball's better live. It's more leisurely, less frenetic, and I still keep score with a pad and a pencil, just the way that my dad taught me.
What's odd, though, is what happens when you catch a baseball game on TV, after watching so many games live. It's crazy to me how everything on the screen seems to have such incredible detail; you can see the tiny smudges of dirt on the player's sleeve, the little knocks in the wooden bats. It almost feels like you can see every individual blade of grass in the field. It's a little unnerving, to be honest, how much microscopic detail you can take in. High-definition TVs are amazing, no doubt, and of course I love watching sporting events on them, but it feels a little strange to see things better than any normal human eye can process. Almost surreal, even.
Of course, it's no secret that my old-man eyes haven't exactly been "high-definition quality" for quite a while now. At the ball game I spend a lot of time flipping my sunglasses off and grabbing my reading glasses to look at the score sheet. (I use one of my wife's eyeglasses-chains to keep the glasses around my neck; probably not the most stylish look for me, but effective.)
Sometimes, when a high fly-ball goes arcing into the sky, it takes me a moment to figure out exactly where it's at; thank God I no longer play centerfield any more. (Not to brag, but I did hit .311 junior year in high school, with only 2 errors.) I know some fans can tell the difference between a sinker and a change-up from the cheap seats, but I'm not one of them. And I tend to trust the umpire with the balls-and-strikes calls; if the home fans get unruly about a bad call I'll of course join in in the booing, but that's just for fun.
None of these "vision issues" make going to the ball game any less enjoyable, by the way. It's still a blast, even if I can't see everything like I used to. I guess I learned a while ago that there are some things you just accept without spending a lot of time fretting about. If my wife or son suggests that they drive at night on the last leg of a vacation trip, for example, I'm not going to pitch a fit, get all prideful. They do see better than me; my eyes are fine, and I get new glasses every year, but they're better at night. So I give 'em the keys.
It's a trick I've learned--if you don't want to get bogged down by thinking about what you used to have in the past, you instead focus on the future. It's hard to get too down or mournful whey you have so many things to look forward to. I guess that's why I like baseball so much in the Spring and Summer--there's always a brand-new game tomorrow.
Until Next Week,