It’s been said that baseball is America’s pastime. I did not always understand this phrase, because I didn’t grow up watching it even though I did play little league softball for a number of years. Then my husband stepped into the picture a few years ago and changed all of that. He is a HUGE baseball fan and especially loves watching the Detroit Tigers. My world was turned upside down. I found myself in love with a man who loved a sport like it was his own brother. Of course I knew the basic rules, but I just didn’t get it. What is the infatuation with this sport? WHY is it America’s pastime? I soon learned the answer to these questions.

On our first date, we attended a minor league baseball game. We mostly talked during the game, and I was so interested in this man, I remember very little of the game or my surroundings. A year later, the Tigers were making a comeback out of the basement of their division, and my husband (still boyfriend at that time) proposed we get tickets and head to Detroit for a game. We made the journey across state, and the day turned into one I shall not soon forget.

After parking our car, we had to walk roughly a mile to the ballpark. We were surrounded by opposing fans; some wearing Tigers hats and jerseys, and some wearing Red Sox attire. We rounded a corner and I had my first glimpses of the stadium. It was huge! Two concrete carved Tigers greeted us at the entrance. Once through the gates, there were people streaming in various directions. I could vaguely hear an announcer overhead on the PA system. We walked the concourse and passed a variety of vendors selling souvenirs, cold beverages, peanuts, popcorn, and the famous ballpark hotdogs. I don’t even LIKE hotdogs, and these dogs smelled unbelievable!

We found our seats just before the game began, and I couldn’t help but take in my surroundings. There were people filling the stands as far as the eye could see. The sun was shining overhead making the green grass in the outfield shimmer in the heat. The infield dirt was finely raked; the chalk lines perfect. Watching these athletes up close and personal was completely different than anything I had ever seen on TV. You could hear them talking, calling for the ball before they caught it. You could see their sweat and pain. Most importantly; you could feel the excitement in the air being surrounded by this crowd of fans. Every play caused a reaction. A good pitch lead to clapping. A quick double play meant more clapping plus whistling. A home-run brought the crowd to its feet. It was truly an awe-inspiring sight, and I loved being a part of it all.

Being at the park that day, I realized why baseball is the American pastime. It brings people together to cheer for their team. Baseball is more than just a sport; it is a tradition that has brought friends and families together for years. Ever since I stepped into the stadium of my first Major League Baseball game, I feel changed. I can never look at it as I once did, just a sport. To me, it’s a beautiful display of sights, sounds, tastes; and feelings that touch all the senses. I can remember different images from every game I’ve been to, and they will flood my mind every time I sit down to watch a game with the ones I love.

Today’s simplest pleasures:

1.) There is so much more to baseball than just the game.

2.) Baseball (or any sport) can be a good opportunity to share time with loved ones.