Today in Chicago, chilling wind whips off the lake and through the corridors created by the downtown buildings. In Seattle, patrons cower under the canopies of the coffee shops while people run from place to place with newspapers over their heads to avoid the cold rain from above. The shovels and salt bags are abundant in Minnesota as people dig their cars out from piles of snow and scrape the bone-chilling ice from their windshields. All across America, the skies are dreary and the outlook is bleak. Every day since the end of October, the weather has grown darker and colder. The environment around you has slowly pushed you inside as the climate outside has become uninviting and unfriendly. But today, something will change. The tables are turning. There is something different in the air. A change you can sense. A change you can feel.
Whether you know it or not, summer began today. Where you live, the chills may rush up your spine the moment you step out your front door. But the sun is warm and the grass is green in Arizona and Florida. From this day forward, the summer sun will begin to push that desolate weather north of where you live and your town will slowly absorb the radiant sun from the south. You see, today, pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training. Today it is official: baseball is upon us. America is awakening from a five-month slumber. There is nothing more American, there is nothing more you, there is nothing more me than a hot summer day, a hot dog with ketchup, an ice cold beer, and the crack of a wood bat driving a 96-mile-an-hour fastball to right-center.
This is not a sentiment shared from one baseball fan to another or from a writer to an audience. This is the unforgettable feeling shared amongst anyone and everyone that has enjoyed a perfect summer day. Baseball is not America’s pastime because some people 90 years ago fell in love with Babe Ruth. Baseball is America’s pastime because baseball is America. Baseball is winners. Baseball is losers. Baseball is truth and honesty. Baseball is cheaters and liars. Baseball is those whose talent rose above. Baseball is those that worked harder than the next guy. Baseball is the dream of something bigger. Baseball is a bunch of kids at a park. Baseball is a father and a son. Baseball is you. Baseball is me. Baseball is a perfect summer day.
So, I urge you to stand up from your couch or desk chair and take a step outside. Step outside and breathe in the air. The change may be so minor that, to many, it will feel like nothing at all. But to you, there is baseball in the air. And where there is baseball, there is summer.
Welcome back, baseball! You were missed.
Chad Miller is an amateur Writer, amateur Fantasy Baseball Player, and a Professional at being amateur. You can find him posting nonsensical jibberish at the Cafe under the name lastingsgriller.
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