In creating this thread, I want it known that I have no intention of hi-jacking ORH's thread, trying to outdo his thoughts or anything. He has a lot of great things to think about, when it comes to baseball.
I love baseball. Don't really know why. It's not like I it reminds me of my playing days or anything. I had an early retirement, quitting little league baseball after a blazing fastball (probably 30mph). It's not all fun for me, though. Baseball brings back a lot of sad memories for me. Some of them were never really formed.
When I was a child, my father didn't play baseball with me. He didn't play any sports with me. My parents let me join tee-ball and I had a great career. Probably hit over .300 with a few dingers (of the 40 foot variety), and even managed to run the wrong way around the bases a couple of times. The managers said I should have spent more time in the minors, after those mistakes. Tee-ball was a lot of fun for me. It gave me the chance to spend time with my cousins and uncle (who was a coach), but more importantly to get out of the house. There were violent times in my home. Dad would come home, yell at us for leaving a messy toyroom, then throw us by our necks into the toyroom and smack us around for awhile until the toyroom was straightened up.
Soon I was a teen-ager and was playing little league. I saw less and less of my parents by then, they were busy running their real estate business and I was being shipped off each day in the summer. They wanted me out of their hair, so to speak. Mom or dad would drop us off at practice or a game, and pick us up afterwards. There was the occasional "Did you get any hits?" questions, but no real discussion in general about baseball. I never felt they were genuinely interested in whether their son was interested in the sport. It's almost as if they felt relieved to not have me around, and separate reasons for Mom and Dad.
Fastword slightly to my late teen years. On days when I wasn't alone at my grandparents' home, I'd be delivering pizzas. On my workbreaks I'd skip out on conversation with my workmates and listen to Marty Brenneman on the radio. I remember one game where the Reds were facing Wild Mitch Williams, relief pitcher for the Phillies. Can't remember who won the game or anything else about that game. It was around this time that I was really heavy into collecting baseball cards (late 1980's).
Back at grandmother's house I'd spend time alone throwing a tennis ball against the side of the house near the garage. I'm still surprised that none of my "curveballs" (all of about 1/4" in movement) found their way to one of the windows.
A couple of years later my best friend and I'd go to the little league park and take turns hitting homeruns with softballs up against the tall backdrop (covering for a batting cage) in leftfield. Looking back it seems like were fantasizing playing at Fenway Park. My best friend soon moved off to the military and from that point on I've never gotten closer to the experience of playing baseball with others. Well, if you don't count the number of games I've played on console.