In a different lifetime, I watched baseball.
One of the best personal essays I ever wrote was about baseball, but the hard copy is long gone, and the technology no longer exists for me to try and find it on an of the old ZIP or 3.5 floppies I carried around during my undergrad.
I learned the Gospel of Baseball at such an early age, that I can’t remember a time in my life when it wasn’t on at my parents’ house. Even before cable existed, we had baseball.
But now, cable or satellite is expensive, and I’m saving for a trip to Japan (and business class would be nice…$5,000 nice…) but I’m tempted by MLB.tv. Big time.
I’m not doing much this summer. Writing–a lot of writing–and lesson planning, of course, but no big trips (that’s next summer) and TBS doesn’t carry Braves games anymore, and WGN isn’t part of basic cable (and they probably don’t carry Cubs games anyway) and I don’t know if it’s nostalgia as I face down 40, but I want baseball back.
I want to come home from school, when there is absolutely nothing on TV, and turn on a baseball game just to have on. Why? I honestly don’t know. It’s like a digital security blanket, making me feel like I’m 19 again, hanging out at my friend Mike’s house watching the Braves or Mariners or A’s, figuring out Magic Numbers and trash talking galore.
It’s not really baseball I miss…it’s what surrounds it. Like watching Cal Ripken break Lou Gehrig’s record with my brother and my dad and my sister, or willing the Braves to the World Series in 1999 when my dad was fighting cancer (luckily my dad fared better than the Braves did that year).
Nostalgia is strong, and I know it won’t make me 10, 15, or 20 years younger. But right now, this moment, the pull to have baseball at my disposal in a way I haven’t since the early 80s is tugging me toward MLB.tv.
So. Happy Early Birthday to me?
(And how many times can I say that in the next 3 months?)