When i was a little boy I really enjoyed watching grown men play with balls. Long hard sticks and balls. I continued to enjoy that through high school. I even dabbled in playing with balls and hard sticks then. Though, I didn’t play with them anymore in my 20s, I still would run at the chance to watch this. Now in my 30s, the desire to watch these grown ass men swing their long, hard sticks around has only intensified. I would give anything to play with them.
I grew up with baseball. It was always around me. I had the (mis)fortune of growing up a Cubs fan. As far as I can remember, I would watch the Cubs every time they were on TV. It used to be WGN, now it’s Comcast. Where ever they are, I’ll find a way. I don’t remember my first game, but I remember the last and I remember a few in between. I have seen some amazing things at the ball park.
I have seen hall of famers play for the Cubs. Ryne Sandberg was my favorite player. Despite what Joe Morgan says, Sandberg is the greatest second basemen to have played the game. He had the combination of power, average and phenomenal defense, all the while playing with a smile and workman like attitude. He retired in 1997. There was a kid who came up in 1998 that quickly filled the void. He pitched the single greatest game in Cubs history, and maybe of all time that year. He retired this year. We’ll see if Castro or Rizzo fill the void. So far so good.
I could talk days about baseball with anyone. They could be a Cardinals fan, Sox fan or, for some reason, a Yankees fan. They just need to show a bit of interest and then I am there to either debate or teach about one of the most exciting games that has ever been played. It warms my heart every time I see my 1 and a half year old son point to the TV and yell, “Beesbawl!” I can’t wait to show him how to play with balls.
Something exciting is happening on the North Side of Chicago this year. It’s weird to say that when the Cubs are 19 games below .500 at the All-Star break, but we are finally getting to see the plan. There is a 2 and 3 hitter that could be the face of the franchise for the next 100 years to come. Castro to Barney to Rizzo. Doesn’t have quite the same ring, but there is something there. I am somewhat envious of my kids, as they won’t have to wait as long as I am going to wait.
I can’t wait to see Castro jerk his bottle back and forth and spray the frothy liquid all over Rizzo when they finally do win. I want to see Theo rubbing it out of his eyes as the rest of the Cubs cheer him on. In Theo we trust. In Theo we trust to get these grown men to start taking their balls and beating the opposition off one at a time. I love baseball.
Please to enjoy.