Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The National Pastime

At ball parks all over America it's opening day. When I was a kid, baseball was the national pastime. Everybody played baseball, whether they were any good or not. Geeks and feebs played, even if it meant they were jeered and catcalled. I know this from personal experience. One armed guys played. Old men that smoked 5 packs a day played, until they had to be carried off the field. When we weren't playing, we went to watch others play. Little League, Pony League, Legion ball, neighborhood men formed sand lot teams, every town that could support one had a minor league team of some kind. Kids chewed bubble gum just so they could collect and trade baseball cards. Baseball cards were like money for little boys. We used to gamble with them. You could trade them for stuff you wanted that another kid had. Baseball cards had the players stats on them and we memorized the stats, as well as the players names and who they played for. Some places football was popular, some places basketball, even hockey if it got cold enough where you lived. If your dad dressed up in a white shirt and tie and drove a nice car to work, maybe you watched some golf or tennis.  We even had time to watch phony sports on TV, like roller derby and wrestling but baseball was the main game. The World Series was the most sacred week in America. The games were tuned in on the radio at every place of employment. I had teachers that would tune in while we were in class, of course, they were men teachers. Nobody questioned the rightness of this.

Baseball has fallen far. A lot of neighborhoods, soccer is more important than baseball. We had heard of soccer but we didn't know the rules or positions. We never played it. Nobody did. Jesus Christ.

I don't know why baseball isn't big any more but things have sure changed.


Cut and Shoot said...

I used to be a big sports fan. Now most sports are full of over-paid and over-drugged thugs. I am reduced to watching maybe half of the Cowboys games. But I still go to Yahoo Sports every day and check out the scores.

Cut and Shoot said...

By the way, I really like your latest batch of photos. Looks just like my neighborhood. Except of course a million or so illegals.