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Baseball: an imitation of life

Sunday kicked off another season of baseball, letting many sports fans know that spring is finally here. This just might be the best time of year for baseball fans, they still talk about their teams with youthful hope, and anything is still possible in the spring.

For me, football is the most exciting sport to watch, however, I enjoy baseball more than any other. It’s the underdog.

When I was a kid, I had a shirt that said, “Baseball is life, the rest is just details.”

Looking back at it, I never really knew how true that phrase was. In this nation, baseball is life. It’s not the most popular game anymore but it resembles our country more closely than any other sport.

The game of baseball pits workers against owners. There are great public scandals followed by reform, not always for the better. It is a team game filled with glorified individuals. Yet, the game’s greatest hitters still fail over half the time. But most of all, baseball transcends generations.

My grandfather gave me the Ken Burns documentary about baseball before he passed. Nine two-hour tapes cover the greatest moments in baseball history. This was before ESPN Classics. I was exposed to the life of Babe Ruth, the pitching of Sandy Koufax, the commentary of Red Barber and the grace of Jackie Robinson. These are things I had only read about in books, now I was able to relive them while eating dinner.

These tapes are filled with life’s lessons. I learned how the Boston Red Sox were cursed by the greed of an owner. And how Kurt Gibson hit a walk off World Series home when he could barely walk on two bad knees.

On Sunday I had birthday dinner over at my grandparents’ house. When I was growing up, my grandfather was pretty distant. He spent a lot of time up in his room and I never really conversed with him. Now that he’s getting older, he seems to be coming downstairs and visiting more when I’m over. We don’t have a lot in common but we can connect by talking baseball.

If you know baseball well enough you can find out a lot about someone just by the stories they enjoy telling and the players they like. For my grandfather and I, it’s the underdog.

It’s not easy being a baseball fan at PSU because our school doesn’t have a baseball team but we do have a softball team. Go out and support our ladies. They spend a lot of time in the sun and those baseball shorts show off their tan legs.

If you’re not a softball fan don’t worry, there is always the Portland Beavers. The Beavers play at PGE Park, and if you’re ever looking for a way to spend a sunny spring evening you should check it out. If you’re not a baseball fan but like to drink, I’d recommend showing up to the Beavers game on April 22.

April marks the beginning of the Beavers’ Thirsty Thursday season and if you’re not looking to watch a game, you will be glad to content yourself with plenty of people making asses of themselves (which should be entertaining enough in itself.) I’ll see you there.