!!!!!CENSORSHIP!!!!!Or at least that's what I'm accusing Wife of. Here's the situation, I wrote a wonderful blog post about baseball. My basic premise was that baseball could be most easily explained by Freudian psychoanalysis of all sports. Just think about it, the batter defends "home" from the pitcher who's symbolically attacking it? But for some reason Wife thought that because her parents read the blog I for some reason had to constrain myself to subjects of proper decorum? But at least Cami and Dave will now have each baseball game they watch ruined from my above suggestion, bwahahaha. That's what you get for studying English!
Well the whole point of this is to state that this has been the Summer of Baseball. Yes that great American pastime which has the rest of the world thinking "and you call soccer boring?" While they are right, baseball is a lot more boring than soccer, it is the quintessential American game. Besides the Freudian implications listed above, baseball is about community.
From the outset a community of fans, regardless of which team they support, converge upon a stadium and break bread and bratwurst together. Entering the park as one they lay aside the divisiveness of politics and religion in place of a conversation about hitting streaks and ERA. The games themselves move at a glacial pace, thus allowing fans attending the game in the park an opportunity to converse with one another amicably. The traditions tied to the game of singing, eating, rejoicing, and mourning together are mere reflections of the best parts of the American pathos. While our political tradition and history may define us as a nation-state in the world, to see into the soul of an American you have to attend a baseball game.
With that in mind we had a summer of baseball this year. Kicking it off with a glorious weekend (except when it rained) in Cooperstown, NY. The birthplace of baseball and thus of the American soul. We ended the summer in some of the most hallowed (not deathly) grounds in America....Fenway Park.
Now I must also point out that our summer of baseball included what is obviously a sign of the end of the world or at least the end of Wife's sanity or physical health. It is that terrible! In search of the perfect baseball weekend, Wife went camping! Daring both the outside and the things that are outside, the love of my life slept in a tent for two nights. Now granted the site we were at had a full flushable bathroom and shower facility. And granted we didn't do typical camping "things" like canoing, hiking, or digging latrines; still I was certain that camping was one of those things my dear sweet soul mate would never do again (the last time I tried to get her camping ended poorly for me).
The last weekend in July we spent the weekend with my in-laws in the lovely little town of Cooperstown, NY (pop. 2,032) with the other Orioles and Padres fans (est. 75,000) for the induction of Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn into the baseball hall of fame. The weekend was largely spent soaking up the smell of grilled kielbasa and dogs and jostling people out of the way.
Besides the baseball specific shops and museums, we were also able to enjoy a free minor league game at Doubleday field, which was quite fun until the rain started. I think it was better for all the fans in town because the Ripken family threw out the first pitch.
The day of the induction we arrived early 8am for the 1pm ceremony. We figured that would give us plenty of time to pick a spot where we could see the podium and enjoy the ceremony. We were wrong. We ended up way in the back of the field. Still we were better off than the thousands of people who showed up after us. Perhaps the most amusing part of the whole thing was watching my brother-in-law sleep in the middle of a heavily trafficked foot path. I kept encouraging the passers by to kick him as they awkwardly stepped around him but none would so instead I kicked him while he slept. Maybe that's why he looks so grumpy.
I don't have much to say about the ceremony itself except for the fact that I don't think anyone was left in Baltimore during it. I've never seen so many people wearing ugly orange and brown uniforms. Still they're less obnoxious than Yankees fans, well unless you happen to go to a Sox vs. O's games with one of those self-same fans. More on that in my next post though.
Now playing: Kurt Vonnegut - A Man Without a Country (Unabridged)