Baseball has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
It’s always been my favorite sport. Whether it be learning at a young age how to play, or through high school and such as a player, it’s always been something I’ve loved. I’ve kept at it – sort of—as I still play softball. Yes, I realize it is two different things – but the idea of the game is the same.
When I put this month’s photo challenge theme out, I knew I could capture baseball. But what best way to do it? My goal is to show how baseball has been an important part of my life, from growing up to current age.
I also look forward to seeing what everybody else has come up with as I know it would be a tough theme for some. But the beauty of this challenge is to interpret and find a way to conquer a subject and make it your own.
Without further ado, here’s my five for this month.
I know a lot of people will talk about Little League – and I enjoyed our youth baseball program – but when I think of childhood and baseball, I think different. We weren’t a true Little League, so we had teams and just played. But I think of our pickup games. We had one place we played often (behind a neighborhood church) and others where we went. We’d use baseballs until the laces fell off. If we didn’t have a ball, we’d play Wiffle ball. And, of course we’d trade baseball cards and such. I played Legion ball when I got a tad older, too, but the “sandlot games” were always the best.
2. Pete Rose
Yes, I know he is banned from baseball. Yes, I know he’s not necessarily the cleanest person in the game. But growing up, Pete Rose was my favorite player. No matter his later life and what he did managing, he played the game the right way. Always. He played hard and he played to win. And he helped the Phillies win the World Series. He’s the only person I waited in a line to get an autograph from and I still love having this ball as it was one I watched him sign.
3. Beat Writer
When I was hired at the one daily where I worked, I was informed that if I got the job, one of my primary beats would be covering baseball, which included the local minor league team and many things at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I was told this as though it was a punishment (apparently, writers in the past didn’t like the baseball beat), but I looked at it as a bonus. I was going to get paid to cover baseball? Score.
4. Dreams Park
In 1996, a small baseball camp (playing, not teaching) opened near Cooperstown. Fast-forward to the summer of 2013 and there’s more than 20 fields and more than 100 teams every week for 13 weeks straight. It’s a total machine and there is so much there. Last summer, as I needed work, I had the chance to work there as a photographer and I truly enjoyed it. I got some great shots, met some awesome people and really enjoyed my time there. I had debated going back this year on weekends, but with the new job and all, I’ve learned to cherish my weekends. Still, I’ll remember my time here fondly and have made some friends I’ll keep well beyond that one summer.
5. Summer of Baseball
This has been a Summer of Baseball for me. My goal was to hit 10 baseball parks and do whatever else I could baseball related. As of this writing, I’m at nine parks and plan on hitting several more. I always travel with my scorebook and a couple of other things so I can tell who we might be seeing on the field, especially at the minor league level. It’s been a lot of fun to do this during the summer and has really made me love the game that much more.
That’s my five for the month. And, now it’s your turn.
If you took part this month, make sure you link up below. And for those who participated, make sure you try and get to other people’s blogs and comment and visit so we can continue to grow this challenge. Don’t forget, too, to come back tomorrow, Friday, August 1, and see the theme for August! NOTE: I also set up a Facebook group for those who participate in the challenge and are interested. I’ll post any announcements there and hopefully it can be a place where things are discussed and some interaction etc. You can access it here.
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