Outdoor baseball...It's more than just a game

For the first twenty-odd something years of my life, I spent a lot of time on the baseball field. I truly loved the game of baseball; getting time to spend some time outside on warm summer nights was simply icing on the cake. Unfortunately, during my last couple years of playing, I often spent more time on a bench than I did in the field. I stuck with it during those years but it gave me a chance to think about the cool experiences and relationships I've built while playing baseball. How far could you spit a sunflower seed? How many times did it take me until I was able to hit a ball over the pine trees? How far could we push the limit with the umpire or the opposing team before somebody got into trouble? And then, while coaching in recent years, How can I best teach these youngsters how to play the game?

The other day Carolyn and I made the drive downtown to check out the Minneapolis public library (a pretty fine structure in and of itself), and possibly make the 5 block walk to Target Field, the new home of the Minnesota Twins. I convinced Carolyn that Target Field should get looked at first, since it would be dark later on and we wouldn't be able to see the plaza and peek through the gates. To our astonishment the field was wide open to the public!! (We later realized it was for season ticket holders only... whoops). Carolyn and I strolled on in and soaked up the lively environment. So this was what baseball is about...hot dogs stands, ice cream shops, people watching, and glorious sunshine! We spent about an hour at the ballpark, but we could have easily spent another enjoying the environment that is known to be "outdoor baseball."

No, there wasn't a game going on... No, there weren't vendors shouting "malt cups, get yer malt cups," and no, there wasn't a full house of screaming Minnesotans cheering their most dearest Twins on. Outdoor baseball is here, not only for baseball enthusiasts such as myself, but also for those who simply love being outside surrounded by people that do. As we sat in a couple of random seats that probably have never been sat in, it got me thinking about the countless hours that spectators spend watching the game. How many mothers are out there remembering those summer nights watching their sons play, or maybe future players dreaming of making a catch like Denard Span (insert Kirby Puckett or Torii Hunter if necessary) just made? Maybe there are former players, reminiscing about playing in the Old Met, Metrodome, or just down the street? How many people are there for the social aspects of the game, using it as a chance to catch up on gossip, crosswords, or even knitting? America's game has always been there for us, allowing us - players and spectators alike- to enjoy baseball for so many reasons. And Minnesota... our game just got a whole lot better, so ... LET'S PLAY BALL!!


  1. It's so great you guys got a sneak preview! Let's be sure to catch a game this summer!

  2. Nice 1st post! It gave me goosebumps.


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