Monday, July 27, 2020

Rooting for the Home Team

Orioles baseball is back. You know the drill. When they lose, you’re sad. When they win, you’re ... startled. In a good way, of course. 

At my house we celebrated the return of baseball with our traditional baseball meal: hot dogs, chips, soda, ice cream in little Orioles caps.

My husband watches baseball while making music. He’s done it as long as I have known him. This weekend we’ve had guitar and banjo. (In previous seasons we’ve also been treated to harp, lyre, mandolin, electric bass, and tuba.) He is able to follow every detail of the game while simultaneously choosing the right fingering and strumming to whatever tune he is playing. I don’t know how he does it.

In some ways it seems crazy to me that baseball is returning into our pandemic world where every day is marked with concern for illness rates, hospitalizations, and death. On top of that: national political turmoil, protests for social justice, fear that our upcoming election could be compromised. How does baseball fit in?

Of course that answer is simple. It reminds us of when things were “normal”. It reminds us of our lives “in the before times” as I have seen people write lately. Remember when we could all crowd together in a ballpark? Remember when all we needed to worry about on a Sunday afternoon was whether we’d get to see some Orioles magic?

Those were the days.

It must cost quite a bit of money to make baseball happen right now. Is it an unnecessary luxury? Perhaps that money would be better spent helping the thousands who are suffering and struggling. How would that look? I don’t know. Perhaps it’s just a pipedream. 

On the other hand, for those who love baseball, it’s a precious respite from all that ails us. And, if a bit of respite gives folks the strength to carry on, maybe it’s worth it. 

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