"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare our the window and wait for spring."
- Rogers Hornsby
Baseball season is officially here (even though for some diehards baseball season never truly ends) and for this baseball enthusiast it's the best time of the year.
For our family, we see baseball as the first true sign of spring. The sounds of the birds chirping are overpowered by the sounds of the ball hitting the glove, the crack of the bat, the smell of fresh cut grass, the sound of churning gravel and the laughter and cheers of the players.
Baseball is known as America's pastime and for us we enjoy it to it's fullest. For me, however, I can't help reflecting on how baseball has influenced my life growing up. I remember those afternoons playing catch in the backyard with my Dad, sleeping on my mitt to break it in and playing pickup games after school. My friends and I would trade baseball cards, argue about why each of our teams was better, and I thoroughly loved seeing my family in the stands attending my games. Most memorable for me, however, was curling up on the couch or going to the stadium with my Dad to watch a MLB game.
Now as a father, I'm getting to enjoy baseball in a new (and better) way through the eyes of my son, who may be a bigger baseball fan than I am. From teaching him how to throw, catch and hit to watching him break his first window with a baseball (which I believe is a right of passage for any baseball player), I've been witness to it all. All those moments are delightfully cataloged in my mind: his first hit, catch and stepping on the mound to be a pitcher.
I am now a fan, spectator, coach and a Dad getting to share the ups and downs of baseball (both Little League and MLB) with my son and the rest of our family. We root for our favorite team, attend MLB and Little League games and spend time together as a family around the sport. And as I know how key the sport was in shaping my upringing, I'm rewarded now as I watch it shape the youth of my new favorite player...who happens to wear the same name on his jersey as I did.
What does the return of the baseball season mean for you and your family? Let us know in the comments below!