It’s time to give baseball the hype it deserves – The Breeze




Every game of baseball is a series of little moments coming together. There’s a certain beauty the game provides that just can’t be matched.

There’s a distinctly unique aspect about America’s pastime. You have a pitcher and a batter. Two men staring each other down, separated by a mere 60-feet, 6-inches. One holds a projectile he’ll launch with great speed and precision. The other clutches an expertly fashioned wooden rod-ready to knock the pitch into the next city.

In baseball, there’s no teammate cutting to the basket, no lineman to miss or make a key block, no hustling mass of world-class athletes working in groups for and against one another play after play.

I think that’s something people hold against baseball. It lacks the constant flurrying of high-intensity action provided by football, hockey, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, rugby or water polo — you get the picture.

But it doesn’t need it.

October brings on fall, Halloween, cooler temperature and of course, the MLB playoffs.

I have to confess — up until this season I disliked baseball. It always seemed too slow. I’d always rather watch a hard-hitting NFL game or a high-flying NBA exhibition. I never played past tee-ball. The game was never on in my house. I have no memory of ever attending a game growing up. I just never had any interest, baseball was nonexistent to me.

 

All that changed this year in April. As part of my high school’s senior field trip to Washington D.C., I saw the Washington Nationals take on their division rival in the New York Mets. I was hooked immediately. I spent the rest of the summer tuning into my local sports station to watch the Nats play and reading game recaps online. I’d watch nationally televised games a few times a week and kept up with a podcast detailing the happenings around the league daily incase I missed anything. My dad even got me tickets to go see the Nationals play again for my birthday.

I share all this to say, baseball is awesome.

Baseball is a game steeped in tradition. I remember watching the Texas Rangers game this past season where Adrian Beltré recorded his 3,000th regular season hit. This was a monumental achievement that only 30 other players had previously reached in baseball’s 172 years of Major League Baseball. The whole place erupted, the game stopped completely and for five minutes the moment was indulged. I’m talking teammates rushing the field, multiple banners being dropped, his whole family even came out to hug him and celebrate. Seriously, YouTube this, it’s an incredible moment.

Baseball takes time to develop. It’s a slow-moving game that retains the ability to change on a dime. Over the course of the 162-game season, each team goes through their respective up and downs, but now we’re in October. Every at-bat, every sign given, every pitching change … all of it matters more than ever before. So take some time this month to enjoy it. Clutch Bryce Harper home runs, fierce Kenley Jansen saves, pitching masterpieces and unexpected fielding errors are all here for a little while longer. Whether you’re a lifelong fan or a learning newbie, the time is now.

I know I’ll be doing the same.

Contact Eli Jennings at jenninel@dukes.jmu.edu. For more sports coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter at @TheBreezeSports.



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