By Travis Stahl
Oh, how we love thee? Just kidding, this isn’t that kind of story, but it is about a love affair. Americans love baseball. We love the history of baseball, the aura of the field under the lights, the sound of a wooden bat making contact even the sting of the ball hitting the glove. Baseball is woven into the fabric of our country and there is no more pure form of baseball than little league.
Little League baseball begins soon at Morsches Park for a new generation of players. This new group of little leaguers will form their own bonds with teammates and create a little piece of baseball history for themselves. For those of us who played at Morsches, we cherish those memories as our own piece of baseball lore. Holding on to all of our past achievements on the field connects us to a higher baseball power. But what really gives our memories meaning are the little details.
Every player remembers home runs and no hitters. It’s all the other stuff makes our own experiences special. Like watching Charlie Vasquez standing with his legs crossed in the outfield, just hanging out. Or, getting beamed in the shoulder by a pitch from Jason Herron. How about the greatest pitch of all time, Jim Duff’s effis pitch which had the ability to spin hitter’s right in to the ground with a swing and a miss. Heck, as annoying as it was at the time, I can even look back now and appreciate the chatter of Shawn Yount while he was playing catcher, he drove hitters insane. Every kid that plays at Morshces has memories like these and holds on to them for a lifetime.
Obviously, as adults it’s not possible for us to play baseball in those youthful situations any more. The closest thing most of us can come to playing baseball is joining a fantasy league on ESPN. Sure, fans can go watch the Tin Caps play in Fort Wayne, which is exciting but it doesn’t produce anywhere near the excitement of standing at second base building a hill in the dirt or picking flowers in the outfield. It’s still amazing how quickly we were jolted back into consciousness from daydreams when a batter would send a line drive whizzing right at us.