Will and I got to go to a Twins game last night. We saw the LG Twins beat the Kia Tigers at Jamsil Stadium. It rained on us for most of the game, but Will was a good sport and we made it nine innings. A bit different from an American baseball game, but not importantly. We sat in center field, it was a good game with a lively crowd. Mostly I just enjoyed seeing baseball. We got to see some of the fun bits, like a couple of double plays, a guy stealing two bases on an overthrow, an attempt at stealing first on a dropped third strike. While I momentarily attempted to explain some of these events, Will's questions showed that he was still sorting out how many teams there were, what the black team (the umpires) was up to, and how to predict the next exciting hit to our local center fielder.
This last picture is my favorite, I think:
I was appreciating that baseball really has such a fantastic point of interest more specifically than other sports. Everyone in the game and watching the game is a chaos of attentions until the windup and the pitch, and we share a moment of intense expectation and focus. The evening is punctuated by dozens of these moments, and while many of them pass without remark, a big play means that we all share it, and I can look around and know that I saw exactly what the people around me saw. The fact that the experience is about a ball thrown around by people we do not know is immaterial - what matters is perhaps that we see something, anything, that so many other people see with us, we share a thrill, and I wonder if that is part of what makes sports enjoyable.
I remember Coach Vogel showing me that I didn't have to fear the ball, I didn't have to stand out there hoping they didn't hit to me. He taught me to creep in with the windup, to anticipate and to be chomping at the bit, to hope to be the lucky guy that gets to play that ball. I miss it. I miss the wild concentration and that asymptotic excitement of the pitch, when everyone commits at once to their carefully weighed decision. I forgot how much I missed baseball until a couple weeks ago when I got to play catch with a few of the teachers here.