From the start of April, through the summer and into October, baseball rules my life. It is everything I do and everything I care about for seven months out of the year, and it has been that way for as long as I can remember.
Baseball has been the way I spend time with friends and family since I was young. I remember my first Cubs game with my mother. I remember my first White Sox game when I sat in the bleachers with my uncle and he convinced me to eat the shell of the peanut. I remember telling my parents that I wanted to be a Wrigley Field beer vendor so I could watch all of the Cubs’ games. Although I made that career choice at the ripe age of five, I would still thoughtfully consider that path if it meant unlimited baseball.
I’ve enjoyed over 100 live baseball games over six different venues since I was young. Each game is etched into my brain with who I went with, where it was and what game, with each time being an important occasion in my life.
I bring this up because the recent and tragic death of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez made me step back and think about the game of baseball.
The death of Fernandez was a reminder to me about how fragile life can really be. Someone can be here one moment and gone the next. After the deadly accident, the Marlins organization cancelled that night’s game and speculation was made for the next day’s game with the New York Mets; a game that Fernandez was slated to start. In response, the entire Marlins team wore Fernandez’ name and number uniform. Outfielder Dee Gordon took the opening pitch with Fernandez’ batting helmet in the right batter’s box and then switched to his left side, only to hit his first home run of the year, shedding tears and pointing to the sky as he rounded the basses.
It was a surreal and thought-provoking moment.
I sat back and thought about all the baseball games I have been to. I thought about my friends and family that I have gone to games with, the times I spent around the game and how the game has affected my life.
Without baseball, there would be a giant hole in my life. I would have missed out on some of most memorable times with friends and family. I would be without a passion and subject that I care deeply about.
Baseball may be just a sport, but to some it is the thing that connects people. This was evident on the Monday, Sept. 26 game in Miami that showed the emotion of what happens when someone loss that person that have shared the game of baseball with.
Baseball is a seven month chunk of my year that I sometimes take for granted. This past week changed that for me.