A recent conversation on talk radio got me thinking how much better baseball was as a kid.
The topic focused on whether morning show personality Rhea Hughes should renew her season tickets next season. Her answer depended on whether Ed Wade returned as general manager.
She’s not alone in that sentiment, but it’s not something a kid would ever consider.
When I was a kid, I came up with a plan to live inside a janitor’s closet in Veterans Stadium so I could go to games whenever I wanted. Of course, the adult in me now says “You would be eaten to death by rats if you did that.”
It's just another example why adults never get it. I used to get it, and at some point, I lost it.
Earlier in the year, I e-mailed a group of bloggers about getting together for a game and suggested taking in a Reading Phillies game next April. The kids would still be at school and they couldn’t interfere with the purity of the sport, I said.
“Kids,” I said “ruin baseball.”
It's the opposite, though, isn't it? It's us loud-mouthed adults who don't get it.
By saying “kids ruin baseball,” I was missing the point. Baseball is better as fantasy, and it always has been. You don’t need to be 10-years-old to view it that way, and I’m constantly trying to figure out ways to rekindle that naiveté – to view it, once again, as escapism.
Baseball is also better when you believe in it, when you buy into the illusion that the Phillies are playing for your honor. After writing Beer Leaguer for over a year now - purely as a hobby and exercise in writing - I still get the most enjoyment out of writing players as characters in an epic saga.
As the calendar rolls over to October, it’s fitting the season I dubbed “the year of the veteran players” comes down to the final game, with nine men fighting to keep their playoff dreams alive.
Since April, chapters have been ripped up and replaced. Old favorites were replaced by new ones, and new protagonists were created to carry this story forward into a sequel.
Today, the 162nd game of the year, represents baseball at its purest form – nine men in white against nine men in black, pushing toward the last page. Only after the final page is turned will there be a question whether the author made the right choices. For now, the author is invisible and only champions exist.