It Could Be the Last Thing You Do

Baseball musings while watching Alfredo Simon make a pitching career out of the first inning (48 pitches already and still flingin’ – I’m guessin’ he’s not gonna get a complete game outta this) on a balmy evening (39 degrees and still droppin’) in Chicago. Night games…in Chicago…in April…what kind of mind…? This game is currently on a pace to last 6 ½ hours.

Hey, not to worry, more time to muse. It’s baseball, baby.

Yesterday I caught a few minutes of a Dodgers game described by Vin Scully. One of the batters was blessed with “Socrates” as his first name. Mr. Scully proceeded to give us a biography of the Greek philosopher AND a play-by-play of what it’s like to die from drinking hemlock AND a pitch-by-pitch description of the batter’s plate appearance. You can’t get that kind of service from any other sport.

Right now I’m listening and learning about the circulatory system of ducks as imparted by Thom Brenneman while the Reds pitcher tries to lay down a bunt. You can learn a lot useful stuff in a baseball game.

But what I’m thinkin’ ‘bout tonight is the fearful responsibility involved when buying a ticket to a baseball game. We take it lightly, but think about it.

It could be the last thing you do.

If the game is tied at the end of nine innings we don’t stop playing by the regular rules of baseball until we have a winner. No matter how many innings that may take.

We don’t have clocks, or ties, or judges’ decisions, or goal kicks, or coin flips. We play on. Theoretically, any game you decide to attend could last forever.

Cool……………and a little scary.

W. P. Kinsella wrote SHOELESS JOE, the book the fine baseball film FIELD OF DREAMS was based upon. His next novel was another fine baseball book; THE IOWA BASEBALL CONFEDERACY. In it, he posits exactly such an eternal baseball game. I recommend it. Oh, don’t get anxious, it’s only 310 pages long and it has an ending.

So, the next time someone asks you if you’d like to catch a baseball game, stop and ponder if you’re really ready for that kind of commitment.

I pretty much always am.

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