“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

10.21.2010

i blame it on october baseball


this not writing, not reading, not emailing, not answering, not calling, not anythinging but a little bit of facebook, but october baseball is something new here in texas, and i have waited years and years and years and years for it and here it is and i go to work and i come home and i watch the rangers and i go to bed and the next day it starts all over again.  yesterday was a day game so i managed to work in a haircut and we talked baseball while she snipped and clipped.  we talk baseball at work, my brother who usually never calls unless it is bad news calls me every day and we talk baseball.  my mother talks baseball, the women sitting behind us at lunch talk baseball.  it is everywhere, here in this usually-we-are-discussing-the-cowboys right now part of the state. 

baseball has saved me a couple of times, in the same way art will, in the same way words do.  once, the year following my father's death, and this year, following maggie the cat's.  i was raised on sports and baseball was only one, but it was the one that drew me.  my father coached and was the president of the little league association, i was a scorekeeper, my brothers played (girls didn't play in texas back then, though they did in other states - i was always jealous of my california cousins who were privileged to do so).  i mostly understand baseball, if it can really be understood, and when i moved back to texas i began to watch the rangers, on and off, on and off, not daily, not fanatically, but i kept an eye on them.  baseball has a long season.  it allows you to miss a game or two. 

the spring after my father died, baseball beckoned and i answered the call.  it was something familiar and it filled long hours and i could talk to him while watching.  maybe not out loud, but i could talk to him.  14 years ago and i have been a fanatic since.  we've had employees who could testify to this - females who so got it when i returned from a late in the season game with a free poster of pudge rodriguez, the then-catcher for the rangers, and tacked it to the wall, and joe the photographer who still lives and dies by each game.  and it is joe to whom i owe a thank you for making me pay attention this year. 

i'd missed more and more games when mary was alive, when i would spend so many evenings at her house, keeping her company.  at first, if it was just the two of us, we would watch a game and she would tell me tales of dating baseball players back when she was young, when this area had a semi-pro team.  as she worsened, robert and katie and i would spend those evenings together with her and we'd watch movies and political shows and i'd have robert check the score during commercials, and i would finish watching the game when i returned home, but i gradually watched less and less and the players i knew so well left and it was hard keeping up, but i did, i did, but it wasn't the same.  this year baseball was already in season when maggie died, just barely, but i couldn't watch.  i would stay at work to spend time with lily cat and i left the tv off so much i grew out of paying attention to the games.  i didn't listen to the radio.  but joe kept pushing me, this is their year, he would say, and i would watch a game, and i would think he might be right, but i wouldn't watch the next game and he would have to push again.  he would call me.  you have to see this guy, he would say.  you gotta watch this game.  and he kept pushing and pushing until at last i fell back in.  and he may have been right.  this may be their year.  it is their best year ever and here we are one game away from going to the world series.  that doesn't even sound possible, but it is.  it's not over till it's over and tonight i am writing this because there is no game, but by tomorrow night or saturday night we will know.  either way, it has been fun and i have enjoyed every moment and i have found myself close to tears when things looked bad, but still, i wouldn't trade this for anything.

we have tickets to game 5 of the world series if the rangers make it.  if there's a game 5.  a week before my birthday, it would be the best birthday present ever. 

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4 comments:

  1. it is always on here, that and football and golf and racing and hockey and then basketball, too. mostly it is background for me, but this year, yes, i am watching baseball, these great breath-holding games.
    and i hope hope hope that you get that birthday present! fingers crossed...

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  2. i had three older brothers ..I shagged balls but never got to bat..still a bit bitter about that..I like your memories of baseball and secretly I hope that there is not a game 5 ..BUT if there is please can we get together beforehand..i live so close..

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  3. Baseball swept me off my feet when I was newly married. My husband was a Marine Corps drill instructor at the time and was never home. It was so weird to be married but alone. Baseball came in and -whamo!- it was love at first sight.

    I've moved from one coast to another, and lived in two different states in eight years. I'm so far away from my team, so haven't followed with as much intensity as I would like, but I do love the game. For all the reasons you mentioned.

    Congratulations to the Rangers! I'm so glad you and your area get to have this experience. And so close to your birthday too!

    Soak it up girl, enjoy to the fullest!

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  4. I just don't get baseball....it's like everyone is speaking in code...doing little sign language things with each other.
    I guess I am truly a canadian girl....hockey is the only sport I will watch...and only if it is the playoffs and only if Vancouver is in the playoffs. I am loyal to my Canucks!

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