Baseball has been a slice of America since its beginning. It has created rivalries among cities, towns, and states, and has also brought schools, teammates, and families together. Attending a game brings a peace to everyday life where fans can chat about home, discuss batting averages, and enjoy the progress of raw talent while admiring the decline of an All-Star and maybe a future Hall of Famer.
It is a participation game. It calls for players at nine positions on the field, and a supporting cast of relievers, utility fielders, and sometimes designated hitters. Playing the game creates situations that call for quick thinking, strong arms, and lively bats.
It is also a game to be watched. Fans see athletic skills, managerial prowess, and disappointing losses at the ballpark. “The Game” is perfect in its imperfections through errors, wild pitches, and strikeouts.
The solace of a ballpark, of concrete and steel and of wood splinters and bleachers, overlooks the stage of green and brown where players paint their masterpieces of sweat and of tears.
Celebrating those moments are as important as studying the past, reliving historical traditions, and hoping for continuation of moments once experienced by previous generations.
Tomorrow night at the Millennium Maxwell House in Nashville the Old Timers Baseball Association of Nashville will give area baseball fans a chance to celebrate once again. It will be the 76th annual banquet for the Old Timers, an organization which has as its creed a testament to all things “Baseball”:
“To enjoy fellowship with baseball enthusiasts and to honor and support the great game of baseball at all levels.”
Former professional baseball players will be attending including Bobby Richardson who was MVP of the 1960 World Series as second baseman for the New York Yankees, amateur players will be honored, twenty high school seniors will receive scholarship awards, Gerald Montgomery will be honored as the latest selection for Nashville’s Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame, and Dennis Birdwell will be given his “Mr. Baseball” award.
But that’s not all. The baseball chatter at each table will be there for all to hear. Lean in and listen. The stories are vital to those telling and vital those who hear them.
Those “slices of America” are important in the celebration of “The Game”, too.
© 2014 by Skip Nipper. All Rights Reserved.