At last, the long winter of our discontent is over. America’s pastime has returned to its home fields. Tonight, the World Champion Cardinals take on the revamped Miami Marlins in the United States opener. Tomorrow, the other 28 teams return to work. Although the game has changed to a huge extent since the days when fielders (including catchers) played barehanded and pitchers threw underhanded from 50 feet, and although the game has become almost as international in character as soccer, as fans file into stands today and tomorrow bedecked in their favorite team’s gear, baseball remains an affirmation of the rebirth of spring and of our uniquely American sense of community and competition. And for fans of all 30 teams (except the Astros), it is a day of eternal hope.
May you be lucky enough today or tomorrow to be able to play hookey from work and spend it in a sun-drenched stadium, with a hot dog in one hand and a beverage in another, enjoying the pop of the ball against leather, the luscious green of cross-cut grass, and the exhilirating crack of the bat as science is put in motion.
With that, I leave you with a video from 2008 from George Will about the intersection of politics and baseball. Play ball!