Why do I “play”? Why do I love baseball so much?
Baseball slowly became a sanctuary for me when I was in a major life transition, beginning in 2012. My love for this beautiful sport evolved from a sort of “love the one you’re with” place. I’d left a 16-year career in the sign and graphics business, sold my house, moved in with my parents at age 41, and was trying to be an artist as a career full time. My parents, lifelong baseball fans, had games on nearly every evening…Mom would have the Tigers on TV while she worked on crafts projects or jigsaw puzzles, Dad would listen to Cardinals games on static-filled AM radio. I no longer had my own private space, and so Detroit Tigers games became my “letting go” space, my way of decompressing from the day’s work, a way to give my mind a rest from trying to figure out my direction and my life. At first, I watched just to relax, and spend time with my Mom. In time, I got to know the players. I started to have favorites. And then I fell in love with pitching…especially BEAUTIFUL PITCHING, which I can feel intuitively but can’t yet describe adequately in words (just watch Anibal Sanchez when he’s cruising, and that’s beautiful pitching). I came to love the movement of the game, which to my artist’s eyes and heart is like an intricate dance. When I watch or listen to a game, I feel belonging with something positive, something fun, a respite from the dreadful seriousness and negativity that too often comes up in our society and culture.
Why do I “play”? Because baseball fills a space in me that longs for meaning and joy. It speaks to my soul. On May 24, I get to go to my very first Tigers game, and I know it will be an amazing Sportual experience. I can’t wait. 🙂