It’s spring-time! The birds are chirping and watching over their nests of eggs. The daffodils and tulips are blooming and many more colorful buds are blossoming. The grass is turning green bringing out a wide variety of mowers that awaken our neighborhoods each morning. And, the baseball players have returned for a long season of games that won’t end until the World Series in October.
Vertical Radio is broadcasting many of the high school games now and will be adding some of the new collegiate ball games that will be coming to Farmington for six weeks starting in June. And, as summer comes to a close in August, we will again broadcast all the Connie Mack World Series games.
No other article of clothing is more associated with the sport that created it than the beloved baseball cap. Whether it’s your favorite player wearing it on the field or you wearing it as you watch him, or whether it’s an astronaut wearing it in space as they orbit the earth or Sergio Garcia, the winner of the Masters in Augusta wearing it on the 18th hole, it’s still a baseball hat. They are standard issue in the United States Navy, used in law enforcement across the world, and a version made of mesh and foam is standard issue for any trucker worth his or her salt. And, what would the advertisers do without having a walking billboard baseball cap on the heads of many of us throughout the year.
Way back in the 1930’s the comedy duo of Abbott and Costello brought America to tears in laughter as they talked about America’s pastime. If you haven’t seen their skit check it out on YouTube and you’ll learn that Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know is on third, I Don’t Care is shortstop, left field is manned by Why and centerfield is covered by Because and the pitcher is Tomorrow.
The rules keep changing in our professional sports. In addition to instant replays, baseball has a major change this year that will speed the slow game up a bit. If a team wants to have the batter take first base without pitching to him, notice is now given to the umpire and the batter automatically goes to first instead of first pitching four high out of the batter’s box pitches. Don’t worry; you’ll still have plenty of time to get one of those ball-park franks at the concession stand.
Perhaps this simple explanation of baseball will be helpful to those still confused:
This is a game played by two teams, one out, the other in. The one that’s in sends players out one at a time to see if they can get in before they get out. If they get out before they get in, they come in, but it doesn’t count. If they get in before they get out, it does count.
When the ones out get three outs from the ones in before they get in without being out, the team that’s out comes in and the team in goes out to get those going in out before they get in without being out.
When both teams have been in and out nine times, the game is over. The team with the most in without being out before coming in wins unless the ones in are equal. In which case, the last ones in go out to get the ones in out before they get in without being out. The game will end when each team has the same number of ins out but one team has more in without being out before coming in.
As I close this rambling essay of the ins and outs of baseball, don’t forget that baseball is mentioned in the Bible. In the Big Inning, Eve stole first, Adam stole second, Cain struck out Abel, Gideon rattled the pitchers and the Prodigal Son stole home.
The important thing to remember is that we all have the opportunity of playing on God’s team. Spring training is over for most of us. It’s time to show up to play with our uniforms on ready to step into the game and play our hearts out! The crowd of witnesses in the stands will cheer us on, unless they are for the opposing team. When the game is on the line those sideline cheerleaders will turn their caps around hoping for us to rally to the occasion. Let’s not let them down and more importantly, let’s not let our Father in heaven down as we face the challenges of this life. The game of life is not over till it’s over. Let us fight the good fight as we defend our faith and make our way to our HOME BASE in heaven. “Let us press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)