March 10, just another day - or is it? Everybody woke up this morning, and only a handful realized what day it was. Those handful live for the green grass, the blue skies, the gentle breeze, and the snap of a ball coming in contact with a leather glove. Today isn't opening day for the spectators; it's opening day for the players. 365 days (356 this year) separate opening day each year. Today is the day we have lived for over the past 4 years. Today is the last time that, well, today, will happen.
I stepped up to the plate. I dug in, and got ready to hit. I looked to my bat, it was beautiful, shining blissfully in the bright yellow sun. I looked to my cleats, one was untied. I looked at the plate, five corners with a heavy black outline, encasing the bright white plate. And finally, most importantly, I looked at the pitcher. This pitcher was no player, he was older; this pitcher was my Dad.
It's been long since the days of T-Ball, and every time I step up to the plate it's with the same enthusiasm as day one. Every practice is a blessing. I heard someone speak the other day on the topic of our baseball team, she said, "It's different with their baseball team, they can't wait for practice. Most kids are excited when practice gets canceled; they are not. It's like they live for it."
13 of us, 12 now (due to the departure of Jesse K), live, eat, and breathe baseball.
And today we find our fix.