Legends On Deck

The Spring without Baseball

All at once it happened.  Spring Training was cancelled.  MLB and MiLB delayed the start of the season.  College Baseball ended.  High School, Little Leagues and youth baseball were cancelled.  Now, it looks like a minimum of 8 weeks before MLB could resume.  In all likelihood, it will be longer.  The Spring without baseball, we will never forget it.

It almost doesn’t matter what sport you follow, because they’re all on hold.  Some of the biggest events in the sports calendar:  NCAA March Madness, The Masters and the Kentucky Derby, all cancelled or postponed.  What becomes of the NBA and the Stanley Cup Playoffs?  Who knows yet.  It could be a season without champions.  Just because the baseball season has been postponed doesn’t mean baseball goes away entirely.  I have some ideas for baseball fans.  These are some things you can do to keep your passion alive while social distancing.

Here’s my 5 ways for baseball fans to pass the next few months:

  • Watch baseball movies.   This is always a personal passion of mine.  I have an annual tradition (going back to childhood) of watching Field of Dreams the night before Opening Day.  I also watch Bull Durham and Major League before every season.  If time permits, I might watch The Natural.  And sometime throughout the Summer, I’ll watch The Sandlot.  This year, I will add to my list.  I might even write about them.  Baseball movies enhance your passion for the game and remind us of the impact baseball has on the culture.
  • Read baseball books.  There are a lot of great baseball books out there, many of which I have never gotten around to.  In recent years, I’ve read Under the March Sun: The Story of Spring Training and The Road to Omaha: Hits, Hopes and History at the College World Series.  I highly recommend both books. If you have a hectic life with kids at home, I would suggest subscribing to Audible and listening to the books rather than reading a physical copy.  I am currently listening to Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella.  This is the book that Field of Dreams is based on.  Baseball books are an excellent way to use this time to enrich your fandom.
  • Study baseball history and statistics (and pass it on).  Baseball is that sport with such a rich history you could spend a lifetime exploring it.  There are players, coaches, franchises and stories just waiting to for students of the game to explore.  This is also an incredible opportunity to educate your children and other young fans about the history of the game, the record holders and the statistics we use to measure their greatness.
  • Watch old games and footage.  Thanks to YouTube, Instagram and other social media platforms, we have so much footage at our fingertips.  Pick a game or a player and plug it into your search bar.  Relive a memory or check out games or players from long before you were born.  As a kid, I used to enjoy watching Home Run Derby on ESPN Classic, featuring some of the biggest sluggers of the early 1960s.  Here is Episode 1, Mickey Mantle vs Willie Mays.  Enjoy!
  • Find other ways to play.  If the weather permits and you’ve got the space, play ball!  Your kids baseball league might be cancelled for the season, but the play shouldn’t stop.  If you have gloves, play catch.  If you have wiffle balls, play a backyard game (bases or no bases).  In fact, the official Whiffle Ball rules call for no bases at all.  Check out this great resource for selecting whiffle bats at Happy DIY Home.  Play how you like to play, practice skills and most of all,  just have fun.  Baseball will come back, eventually.

Brian Koss
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