[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y wife’s already sick of baseball this season, and I can’t say I blame her. She’s not alone, folks reading this might hate baseball too. The evening news reported that baseball is less popular than ever before, hearing that almost made me tear up.
But maybe it’s true. Yesterday, I saw a boy at the grocery store in a number eleven Yankee’s jersey. I asked him what he thought about outfielder Brett Gardner. He answered saying that he didn’t watch baseball, but he thought Gardner looked cute in his uniform. I ended our conversation there.
Baseball was the highlight of my childhood. In eighty-five, Kansas City made the World Series. I remember how my father snuck cigarettes during commercial breaks when he didn’t think anyone was watching. And when we won the series, my father was so restless with excitement, he went outside and fired his shotgun into the air. I guess he couldn’t think of anything better to do in that moment.
For years, I thought the last words to the Star Spangled Banner were: “play ball.” They aren’t. I also learned that this is an inappropriate phrase to close Sunday school prayers with. Sunday school teachers hate baseball. The only thing they hate worse than baseball are pocket radios used to listen to baseball. Punishment for listening to a pocket radio during Sunday school was reading the entire book of Deuteronomy, which is a lot like reading the Birmingham phonebook.
One summer, I read the book of Deuteronomy nine times.