16 Things I Love About Baseball

I used to think the first line of our national anthem was “Jose can you see,” because we sang it at Astros games and their star player was Jose Cruz.

 

  1. Craig Biggio.
  2. Singing. What other sport gets 30,000 people to stretch their legs in the middle of a game and join in chorus to sing about snacks, rooting for your team and never going home? Take me out to the ballgame, indeed.
  3. Food. If it was important enough for the song, it’s important enough for my list. Nothing beats a beer and a hot dog on a sunny afternoon at the ballpark.
  4. Wooden bats. I’m looking at you, college baseball.
  5. Clapping for the fan who catches a foul ball.
  6. Passing your money down the row. Passing the beer/hotdog/cotton candy back.
  7. At-bat songs. Penetrating glimpse of a player’s psyche or just something he picked off his iPod?
  8. Loyalty. Jeff Bagwell was with the Astros for about 57 years. Biggio for roughly 120. They are beyond beloved by the city of Houston. I know this is getting less common, but I feel like baseball has more long-term franchise players than other sports, and it makes a team feel very special for the fans.
  9. The witty, snarky old men who hassle the umps and opposing players at UT games. 
  10. Minor League shenanigans.
  11. Friday night fireworks. This has become a post-game tradition at multiple ballparks, and next to the 4th of July, it’s about as Americana as you can get.
  12. First-base chats between players on opposing teams.
  13. The thrill of extra innings.
  14. Spring Training. My mom and I went to Astros, Braves and Dodgers Spring Training games for spring break my senior year of college, and it was one of my favorite experiences ever.
  15. Dozing off for a few innings when you’re watching a game on TV. It’s the perfect white noise.
  16. A perfectly executed double play.

Photo by Matt McGee

4 Responses to “16 Things I Love About Baseball”

  1. Adriel Joy Says:

    So true Trac! Love it all. Baseball does seem to be the only sport in which loyalty is a HUGE deal still. Teams and cities hate players for “burning” them. I have seriously learned that living in Boston, in Red Sox Nation; they are hard-core dedicated. I love that Boston is like Austin in the sense that they love their team(s) and will shoot anyone *figuratively* who says anything bad about them, since only ‘they’ are allowed to say those things (like ‘Yo Momma’ jokes, I suppose). When I lived in San Francisco, I loved living there during baseball season due to the fireworks. Regardless of whether the Giants [sometimes the A’s too] won or lost, they were still sailing over the Bay and the gorgeous stadium that is Pac Bell Park. A perfectly executed double play still gives me goose bumps, no matter which team it happens for; so fetch! Extra innings + playoff run = incredible! It’s also the only sport where you openly see opposing players chatting and laughing throughout the entire game. I love seeing that, reminds me that it is, after all, “just a game.” The best part, of the tons and tons of awesome things I get from going to games at Fenway, is seeing a sold out, historically iconic, green, Nation stadium belting out “Sweet Caroline” in unison; all is well with the world, everyone loves each other for a few minutes, folks scream-sing and thoroughly enjoy themselves, adults are giddy like school kids again, strangers hug and laugh and trust each other again. Such a joy to see.
    My favorite baseball memory was, by far, going to Rosenblatt Stadium with my older brother, Aaron, and our grandparents, to see the College World Series. We got to leave school a week early that year. It was such a ball; days upon days of watching college players (who I, too, wish used wooden bats) fight it out to see who was really the best. Players who were still trying to get there, you know? True love of a game.
    The Show is one of the best things really… Thanks for reminding me of why I fell in love with the sport when I was a wee lad (who used to frequent card shows with her brother and aunt because she was a dork, tool bag, haha…)! Where’s my gear at? I feel like getting suited up to sit behind the plate again… Alas…

  2. tracy Says:

    Adriel – I love how all our past baseball memories come flooding back. And I’m so jealous you’ve been to the College World Series! That is definitely on my must-see list.

  3. Alisa Says:

    Agreeee!!!! I want to go to a baseball game! The best is with my dad 🙂 We should go to one some time!

  4. tracy Says:

    Alisa – you’re on! Maybe we can hit a U of A game in the next month or so.

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I write what I know (and love). Mostly higher education, writing and public relations.