Seventh Inning Stretch
C. Derick Miller
Your Stories On Video
It was early Sunday morning and a cool, summer breeze was blowing through what would’ve been my hair. I say that, of course, because I choose to be a bald guy. Absolute choice. My wife takes it straight down to the scalp once every couple of weeks for the simple fact that I make a handsome bald man. I just remember fondly what wind felt like through my hair since I had quite a bit of it. Hair, not wind. Anyway, the wind was slapping me on my bald head…
I believe I’ve recently informed everyone about my sudden bicycle obsession, and I haven’t slowed down at all. Against the will of my aching knees (military injuries), I’ve pedaled over one hundred and twenty miles in just two weeks’ time. From hilly road courses to laps around our neighborhood park, I’m giving it all I have until I reach “Army” weight. At the rate I’m going, it should be sometime around Christmas. That’s one heck of a present if you ask me!
So, the wind was slapping me on my bald head as I hit the halfway point of my Sunday morning ride and, after I dodged a few opening card doors from the wake and bake weed smokers who prefer the calmness of the park rather than the security of their own homes (I’ll never understand this), I began to notice quite the gathering of people near the park’s baseball diamond. I paused momentarily to take a few shots of water from the bottle strapped to my bicycle frame.
One by one, the vehicles parked, and they didn’t seem as though they’d be stopping anytime soon. As a matter of fact, they didn’t. As I put my bottle away and concentrated once again on my laps, I noticed more and more brightly dressed young to middle aged men swinging bats for practice and tossing a baseball to one another. Anyone not within that age range, from the very young to the elderly, was carrying chairs, coolers, and food trays. Had I stumbled onto an unknown ritual of sorts?
The fact of the matter is, I live in North Texas (Dallas, to be more specific), and know for a fact that the majority of the population finds themselves in a church pew at this time on a Sunday morning. What were all these people doing at 9am on a Sunday? Was this some kind of baseball church that I wasn’t privy to all my life? Honestly, I felt left out. I wanted to go to baseball church!
Sure enough, one half of the men hit the dugout and the others spread out atop the thirsty summer dirt of the outfield. Those who remained outside the fences took to the bleachers and began to pass around food for the morning meal. It all seemed way too rehearsed to be something impromptu. No, these people surely participated in this ritual regularly because no one appeared uninformed as to the happenings from one minute to the next. I continued to ride in circles around the park until my legs screamed for mercy just to sneak a peek at the Sunday morning baseball sermon being preached from one inning to the next.
I could still hear the cheers of the small crowd as I put the park behind me and headed toward home. It made me think about how much of a memory maker baseball can be, especially in America! I can associate some great memories (and one horrible one) with baseball now that I think about it. Heck, even one of my clients from an earlier Your Stories On Video interview told me that some of her best memories as a kid were of playing baseball in school with the older boys. She even confessed to me that most of the other children didn’t respect her until she showed them all how well she could play baseball. She even showed up those boys with her natural baseball talents!
Now, I’m not asking anyone to give up their faith and join the baseball church, but I wanted to know where I could sign up and how often they met. Every Sunday? Evenings too? Wednesdays? Any chance of a good old fashioned North Texas weeklong revival service?
Even though I don’t follow major league baseball anymore, I hear that Texas doesn’t have much to brag about this year, so that leaves me with a few questions for all of you. What are your baseball brags? Do you have any good memories from your life associated with America’s pastime? I would love to hear them all and so would the rest of your family! Who knows, perhaps baseball could go away in the future! What would you want future generations of your family to know about your love (or hatred) of baseball? Who is/was your favorite team, are they still around, and did you ever attend in memorable games?
We want to hear it all!
Let us know at http://www.yourstoriesonvideo.com