The Beauty of Baseball

9 Apr

As my skin sizzles from three and a half hours in the sun this past Saturday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium, I ponder why I so enjoy going to baseball games in spite of the inevitable one-sided sunburn I always incur when I go to observe America’s favorite pastime.

Baseball, though it has its riveting moments, can be a relaxing sport for the observer. The games have no time limits. Much as I tend to feel more comfortable having plans and set deadlines, there is a sense of freedom in a baseball game because it gives its audience an excuse to just sit back and go with the flow.

Also, who doesn’t love to be outside during the spring and summer? With just a little forethought, you can avoid the aforementioned sunburn and come away with a nice, if uneven, tan. In general, being outdoors is just a nice change from school and work. Breeze, sunshine … you’ve got to love it.

While at a baseball game, you have to pay a certain amount of attention, lest you wind up on SportsCenter as the fan who was ignoring the action and looked up just in time to get his or her cheekbone broken by a wayward foul ball. On the other hand, there are plenty of breaks in the action – between the top and bottom of innings, between innings, at timeouts, at pitching changes and more. This affords fans time to visit in close proximity to friends and family, something that has become more and more rare in this age of Facebook chatting and texting.

Because the game often progresses at a slower pace than some other games, fans have plenty of opportunities to educate friends and family members who don’t know much about baseball, passing on the knowledge of balls and strikes, why a certain hit is an RBI-single, the background of a certain players, etc.

There’s so much tradition associated with the mere attendance of a baseball game. Walk-up songs for home field hitters, peanuts, hot dogs, PA system operators with a sense of humor – the song instructing hit batters to “walk it out” or bidding farewell to those who have struck out with the oh-so-classic “nah nah nah nah … hey hey hey … goo-ood bye!”

Finally, going to K-State baseball games is fairly affordable. Students get in free with their Wildcat IDs. For the bleacher seats (and let it be said, there is really no bad seat at Tointon), single game tickets are $6 for “youth” (age 2-18) and $8 for adults. In a world where kids’ meals at restaurants usually extend just to those 12 years and younger, it’s refreshing to see prices that encourage families to come out to games.

So, despite looking like a tomato, going to the game today – which ended in a 14-3 loss for the Wildcats, unfortunately – was worth it. Well worth it.

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