Baseball really is the beautiful game. I've always believed that on some level, but never really gave it much thought before. It's always been my favorite game for reasons I could never really figure out, or that I had chalked up to the tradition of growing up in Cincinnati, raised by parents who were also Reds fans. But a fan can go years following a team and the game that team plays and still miss the beauty.
It's so easy to get caught up in what the lineups should be or why so and so really is a good player in spite of what large segments of the fan base and certain announcers believe. It's easy to look at the numbers and quantify the good and bad of the team we love, and there is a place for that, but you have to be careful not to miss the beauty.
I almost missed it. I have been watching so little baseball recently because I'm always on the road and just able to listen most of the time. I get the information and even get caught up in the emotion of a good win or a close game, but there is beauty beyond that.
Tonight I saw the beauty of baseball while watching a game I had no real rooting interest in. There was more than just a game going on there. There was the natural beauty of the grass and the blue sky above, the perfection of the checkered pattern in the grass and the perfect symmetry of the diamond itself. There was the artistry in the smooth windup and delivery of a pitcher who has command of his craft and even a certain aesthetic beauty in the flight of the ball from pitcher's hand, to the bat, to the glove of the shortstop, and then to the glove of the first baseman.
Everything became a testimony to the beauty of this game. A line drive down the line was more than a good piece of hitting. Just the flight of the ball was a delight to behold, as was the perfect synchronization of the defensive players when turning a double play on a two hopper to second. The subtle alignment changes from hitter to hitter or sometimes from pitch to pitch, the route of an outfielder and the flight of the ball meeting deep in the gap, a strong throw from the shortstop to first. All of these things are beautiful to behold in their own way, and should be experienced live to gain a full appreciation of the beauty.
When you take the time to notice it, there is so much pure beauty in the game of baseball. It really is 18 artists creating a masterpiece on a canvas of grass and dirt, a timeless work of art for all to enjoy. Baseball really is the beautiful game.