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Play Ball: The Real Rite Of Spring
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TITLE (EDIT)
Play Ball: The Real Rite Of Spring
DESCRIPTION
I love the spring. Wanna know why? Because spring is the time of year when good things begin to happen. And like anyone else, I like good things to happen. And if they happen to me, then so much the better.
[917 words]
AUTHOR
Steven R. Kravsow
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I have been writing for the past 10 years. I have written short stories, essays, Op-Ed pieces, magazine length articles, and 3 novels entitled, "The Acorn Academy," "Boneman," and "Puppet Boy." I am presently at work on my 4th novel entitled, "Square Pegs."
[February 2000]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (13)
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American Tale (Essays) "I stood behind the old man in the check-out line at the local convenience store. A navy blue Yankees hat covered a head of sparse gray hair. He carried an old framed photo which he proudly laid on to... [629 words]
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Photo Man (Non-fiction) I stood at the airport fence looking at a vintageB-24 Liberator. And then I saw the tiny little man. He wore his old Army Air Force fatigues, perfectly laundered and looking like it was still 1944. Hi... [2,560 words]
Riding The Line (Short Stories) Rosie McClusky loved to ride the bus, losing herself in the tapestry of the city. She loved the way it wound its way through the sleepy city early in the morning and she loved the way it meandered bac... [918 words]
Songs From My Attic (Essays) While rummaging through my attic, I discovered a box of old sheet music from the turn of the century. It painted a rich tapestry of who we were in the early 1900's, what we believed, and portrayed the... [1,878 words]
Stars & Stripers (Non-fiction) He was a tiny man with a scrapbook. He'd served as a reporter for Stars & Stripes during World War II. And he was one of the first inside Buchanwald. He carried his scrapbook under his arm and his sto... [1,081 words]
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Play Ball: The Real Rite Of Spring
Steven R. Kravsow

     I love the spring. Wanna know why? Because spring is the time of year when good things begin to happen. And like anyone else, I like good things to happen. And if they happen to me, then so much the better.

     Flowers bloom, gardens grow, the grass turns green, the air turns warm. But the best thing that happens begins far far away from me and each spring I wait for it faithfully like Old Yeller, waiting for Tommy Kirk to come home. That's right, baseball season starts again. Rejoice! For a few short hours all is right again with the world.

     I've waited for this since last October. My God. In October they were playing football. I love football, too. Don't get me wrong. But I love it in a different way. Football players resemble huge mutants who run up and down gridirons wreaking havoc and mayhem upon anyone unfortunate enough or conduct disordered enough to indulge in this form of national pastime. I love to watch it. But by the time it starts, summer is over, fall is half done, and winter is fast approaching with its two dominant colors: Brown and White.

But baseball arouses feelings and memories that are almost primordial. It awakens the long slumbering child in all of us. It evokes a time when we were youthful dreamers growing up in a simpler world; a time when most of our lives were in front of us and all our hopes and dreams seemed possible. We were not then concerned with jobs or recessions or massive budget deficits. We embraced a sport that spanned the three seasons that most symbolized a natural sort of beginning, middle, and end as it began in the spring, gained momentum in the dog days of the summer, and reached its climax in the fall.

     Ah, baseball. There is little that I know of that can beat it. I'm sitting in the stands eating my hot dog and fighting a losing battle to keep the mustard off my pants. My soda is precisely placed at my feet but chances are that some large uncoordinated person will kick it over before I have a chance to move it as he steps over me to take his seat. I know that he has waited patiently for me to set it down. There can be no other way. Otherwise, it just wouldn't be a challenge.

     This is great! The evening is mild and the air seems slightly blue as the lights reflect off of the moisture in the air. The grass looks so green that I wonder if they've finally put in that artificial carpet that they talked about last year. I hate mowing my lawn but I'd give anything to mow the grass in that outfield. Was it always that green? No, this must be an exceptional season. The grass smells so green. There is nothing in the world that smells as wonderful as the freshly mowed grass at a ballpark.

     And I must be getting old. These aren't professional ballplayers, these are Little Leaguers. They must be! Players this young must have their parents in the stands. They can't possibly have permission to be here all by themselves. Do their mothers know where their children are tonight? These guys seem to be barely 22 years old. I'm more than twice their age. I wonder if these guys feel half my age? I still pretend that I'm their age but I look more like their coaches. Those guys are gray. I'm getting gray, too.They could afford to drop a few pounds. I could afford to drop a few, myself.

     And how about that PA system? They spend sums of money that could help finance the GNP of many an emerging nation on these guys but the PA system still reminds me of the car speakers at the local drive-in. And the announcer. How did they steal this guy away from the snack bar at the movie house? "Please open your program guide to page 21. If your number is 4551 you are entitled to a ravioli dinner for two at Luigi's. You may pick up your dinner passes at the ticket office during the game."

     Signs, signs. They cover the outfield fences like a 3-D version of the yellow pages. There are signs advertising printing services, restaurants, hardware stores, cable companies, and some kind of video dating service. I wonder if you date in person or do you only relate to each other in some kind of elaborate ritual presided over by an electronic eavsdropper. It reminds me of dating over a phone when I was young. Times are really changing. I really am twice the players' ages. In fact, I think that I must be twice everybody's age. But never mind. I'm here after all to watch a baseball game.

     The game is about to start and I can't wait for that first pitch. I'm fed. I'm ready. I've got my program and my trusty pencil. The lineups are posted on the scoreboard and I'm ready to sit back and enjoy a night of baseball. Here they come, now. The players are taking the field. Spring is here and all is momentarily right again with the world. Good things are about to happen. For a few hours, I can be a kid again.

Let's see now. What was that lucky number again for that complimentary dinner for two at Luigi's? God, the air sure smells green tonight.

 

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2002 Steven R. Kravsow
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
March 2002
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1661
 

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