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An offseason pitch for baseball

I understand that when the World Series ends, the baseball season is over. But for people like me, we have actually just moved into the “hot stove season.” I have actually always been a baseball fan and while it may not be as popular as football it does stay the nationwide leisure activity with the majority of Americans.

As a kid I played in a youth league or as they employed my hometown the “Small Fry league” to avoid paying fees and copyright Infringement. I also played Babe Ruth ball and a lot of pickup video games throughout the years. I was a fair hitter, could field a bit however my strengths were my arm and speed on the bases
At one point in “Small Fry” baseball they attempted me out as a pitcher because of my strong arm however regrettably, I was like Nolan Ryan early in his profession when he was with the Mets. In other words, I had a respectable fastball, however I didn’t always understand where it was going. I suppose with some coaching I could have established but that never happened so a possible Hall of Fame career on the mound was nipped in the bud.

I saw my very first major league game in 1957 when my father took my siblings and I to see the then New York Giants and the then Brooklyn Dodgers play a day game at the Polo Grounds in New York City. It was at this video game that I got to see my baseball hero Giant outfielder Willie Mays who I believe was the greatest ballplayer of perpetuity. I just recently learnt that Willie at 92 is the earliest living conscript of the Hall of Fame.

My father imparted a valuable lesson upon us as the game came to a close. He highlighted the significance of remembering what we had just experienced, as the two teams would not be playing in New York the following season. His words showed prophetic, as the Dodgers transferred to Los Angeles and the Giants to San Francisco in 1958.

At that time, we were fans of the Giants, however when the Mets came into existence in 1962, we immediately altered our loyalty. Nevertheless, my youngest brother or sister, whether out of sheer opposition or what we perceived as disloyalty to our household, became a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Throughout the years, I have actually seen baseball games at different stadiums. I have attended video games at Milwaukee’s County Arena, which no longer exists, during the time when the Braves played there. During check outs with my mom’s family, I went to Toronto’s Exhibit Stadium, which was not well-regarded at that time. I also had the opportunity to see a video game at Cleveland’s Municipal Arena, which holds a special place in the hearts of many despite its nickname “mistake on the lake.” Furthermore, I experienced a game at Boston’s Fenway Park, a ballpark that is adored by many, despite its drawbacks such as bad sight lines and seats that appear as ancient as the stadium itself.

Obviously, I went to Mets games at the Polo Grounds, where they played in the team’s first 2 seasons. In 1964 Shea’s Arena, home to the Mets, opened in Flushing. I saw a lot of games at Shea especially throughout my college years when we frequently attended Sunday doubleheaders. I have likewise been to games at Citi Field, among the best of the “retro” ballparks that opened in 2009.

However recently I saw most of my baseball at what is now Sahlen Field. I shared season tickets for about eight years with my youngest child and later bought mini packs and still attempt to make a number of games a season. Triple A baseball is not major league ball, but you get to see stars of the future and it does not break the bank to go to a game. Sahlen Field is now the oldest ballpark in the minors and while it needs some upgrades it is still a great location to view a ball game.

But if you can’t get to the ballpark there is a lot on either television or radio. I keep in mind well lying in bed on a summer season night in the 1950s listening to Bob Prince, he of the popular “Green Winnie” doing the Pirates games we got on WWVA in Wheeling, W.Va., or Harry Caray and broadcast partner Jack Buck calling the St. Louis Cardinals video games on KMOX. Then there was Vin Scully and Russ Hodges transmitting the Dodgers and Giants video games throughout those teams’ final seasons in New York. However then the baseball airwaves got a little quieter for a while till the Mets occurred in 1962 with Lindsey Nelson, Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner, and Bob Murphy, he of the “Happy Wrap-up” after a Mets triumph.

My home town is only 25 miles from Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame, and I’ve been there on a number of events for many years. It’s open to question if Abner Doubleday in fact invented baseball there but when they were trying to find a location to locate the Hall, they could not have actually selected a much better site than this little village that is the sort of place where baseball might have been developed. If you are a baseball fan or simply curious about the video game, you have to check out the Hall of Fame.

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