For those of you old enough to remember, that’s a line from an OLD SNL skit, but baseball has been very, very good to me. It’s a sport I started to play when I was about seven. I was never that good, but good enough to play in high school and dabble in a variety of places as an adult where I got to compete against players who had played minor league ball – but that’s a story for another time and place.
Baseball was the common tie with my dad – and my grandfather. The love of baseball for my dad probably started in El Paso, Texas where he lived as a teenager. I remember a photo of him as a young man dressed in a baseball uniform and the love of the sport is reflected in his face. He injured his arm sometime in those days of playing sandlot ball, and that kept him from playing as an adult. But that didn’t change his passion for the game. Over the ensuing years he coached little league and subsequently spent over twenty years as an umpire. The diamond outlined in chalk was always part of him.
I don’t know where or when my grandfather’s love for baseball began, but he was born in the late 19th century in Mexico, and given the penchant for baseball south of the border, I’m sure he probably had the love instilled sometime when he was a young man. That love of the game was obvious anytime time we visited him during the baseball season. You’d always hear a radio tuned to the spanish broadcast of his beloved Dodgers. And it was really a treat when all of us, my dad, grandfather, brothers, cousins (which were like brothers) made the pilgrimage to Chavez Ravine (never Dodger Stadium) to see the real thing. Although my father and grandfather are no longer with us, their passion still lives in their sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons
Over the past six years, my brothers, son, and nephews have visited a variety of cities to catch a baseball game, drink a few beers, and remember the glory days (almost everyone played the game). Although all of us bleed Dodger Blue, it doesn’t matter who is playing. It’s still about 18 players on a field of grass and dreams. So, as you can see, beisball has been berry berry good to me.