Baseball is relaxing.
It’s not relaxing when the Red Sox are playing the Yankees. It’s not relaxing in extra innings or when there’s a no-hitter in the late ones. Most of the time, watching it is relaxing, though. This cannot be said of football or basketball or hockey.
On Monday, the Red Sox were idle. They were idle on Sunday, too, but, on Monday, they weren’t even playing. I spent parts of Monday night watching the Giants play the Pirates, and the Cardinals play the Braves, and the basketball game, and the hockey match, and a little of The Music Man with Robert Preston and Shirley Jones.
I wasn’t relaxed. I was distracted. Mostly I read a book and looked up at the TV when announcers started yelling, which probably happened when no one scored more in the hockey match, which, if memory serves, involved the Penguins and the Rangers. I like hockey when I watch it closely. It’s not a good sport to read books by.
On Monday afternoon, though, the Presbyterian College Blue Hose, the locals, played the Wofford Terriers, and I went over to the diamond, where it was ninety degrees, but it wasn’t like I was pushing a lawn mower.
I got some sun.
It wasn’t an important game, but it was an enjoyable one. Wofford led 10-4 in the eighth inning, but PC scored six in the ninth, and one in the tenth, and since it was the home team, won immediately upon the scoring of that run, 11-10. The victory was only the Blue Hose’ 16th of a difficult season, but, if you’re going to win half as many games as you lose, at least you made this one of them.
And you do it, ideally, so that I can write about it and ascribe truth, justice, and the American way to its obvious, less lofty, virtues.
It was a makeup game, which was probably why lots of the locals I usually see at the games didn’t make it. They probably didn’t stop by because they didn’t see it on the schedule posters taped to shop windows all over town.
I spent most of the game talking to a high-school sophomore from Boiling Springs, Will Delaney, who came down with his mother because he is an earnest young man who already wants to look at colleges, and a lefthanded pitcher to boot.
The first realization of talking baseball to a 16-year-old is that he doesn’t understand what you are saying, and the second is that the reason is you are talking about players who quit playing before he was born. Decades before he was born.
Kindly Will laughed at the Warren Spahn anecdote.