My mind wandered as I took a long 3-hour drive around my part of the world a few days ago on an otherwise surreal Easter Sunday. I think about how in another universe, I’m going about my regular day – likely some time outside on a long walk, then a bit of grocery shopping and laundry to get ready for the work week ahead, and a bit of meal preparation while I get ready for the Dodgers game to come on. I think about so many Sunday afternoons over the last 7 years doing exactly this, keeping my mind occupied, providing me with a full season of hope and distraction from the regular challenges of an adult life.
On this day I had no path planned out ahead of time but found myself visiting places that reminded me of another life, long ago it seems now, way before when Corona was only a beer we would drink with a wedge of lime on a hot afternoon.
I ponder – knowing I will never fully know the answer – how about how life could have turned out if not for that other C-word, cancer, and imagine a life I’ll never know with a lost loved one, a path never meant to be. In the last 30 minutes of my drive, I knew that the time had come to say goodbye to the past, to move on and figure out what my new reality is while I still can.
While I arrive home — as I continue to do in this dystopian baseball-less world — I turn on MLB Network, where much to my surprise and delight, Vin Scully is calling a 2009 game where a young Clayton Kershaw is recording 13 strikeouts against the Giants on Jackie Robinson Day. Of course, this also happened…
Turned on MLB Network and the Dodgers bullpen immediately ruined an outstanding pitching performance from Clayton Kershaw. What year is it?!? Damn I miss baseball.
— Gail Johnson (@GJOH29) April 12, 2020
Nevertheless, when that is over I finish up the most recent podcast from our beloved Joe and Orel, and I mentally take note of an upcoming Zoom call to chat about baseball and life with some other Dodgers fans from across the continent…and this is when the truth becomes crystal clear to me.
Baseball – even now, in these unknown times, with no play scheduled for the foreseeable future — is my now, is my rightful path, and exactly where I need to be… now, and into whatever the next few months and years hold for us as fans.
Missing the game terribly is a sentiment we all share in varying degrees, and we surely miss the people who become a part of our daily lives. but that doesn’t mean we have to let that sadness permeate our existence. There’s still so much about the game and its community to talk about, debate, poke fun at, reminisce about, and perhaps view with a new level of appreciation, so that when the players return to the field and we once again become part of that special roar of the crowd, we will do so with renewed vigor and excitement and show this game the love it deserves…knowing how much every part of it has an impact on our lives.