Special guest post by Mark Gauthier
The weather is easing up and I’ve seen a few robins out in the backyard which is a sign of good things to come. Some people smell that earthy dog smell that’s uncovered after the snow washes down the gutters but I smell Rawlings, peanuts and beer.
The word’s been around for almost 150 years and yet it’s become the Hamlet of our sports culture with phrases like,
“Bottom of the ninth, bases loaded and a full count” or this beauty, “Gettin’ to first base”.
We all know these sayings and I bet you can walk down King St. and the majority of people would know exactly what you’re talking about.
It’s a beautiful game. Not only what happens on the field but off the field.
There’s the scoreboard–every statistic tells a story from an RBI to a stolen base, you can pick up exactly what happened at what time throughout the game. No other game can tell a story like baseball.
Off the the field there’s the chatter. Every fan has a tale to tell on what brought them to the game. Don’t believe me? When the Chicago Cubs won the World Series after a 108 year drought, it affected so many people’s lives and not just because of the drought being over, it was the fans that were affected. Generations who never saw them win a championship were remembered at grave sites, arm patches and photographs. That’s what baseball does to a nation, or the Chicago Cubs.
“This field, this game — it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again.”
—Terrance Mann, Field of Dreams.
Even with the digitization of America, there’s something about the game that peels back the skins of time and reveals its heartbeat, our childhood, our innocence and our love of all that was good in its most simplistic form. It’s in the sounds of the game from the pop of the bat to that heckler in the stands the best and the worst of who we are. It’s in the smells of the turf, the beer and the hotdogs. Seeing the score board and reading the game and one of my favourites, the taste. Hot roasted peanuts and hot dogs. Baseball makes a lot of sense.
This #HappyAct is a little project that will take you into the summer, and hopefully if the stars align, the autumn.
Go see a baseball game. There’s many to choose from The Blue Jays, The Chiefs or the Ottawa Champions. If you’re feeling ambitious, take a trip and make a pilgrimage to Cooperstown or one of baseball’s greatest parks. Go by yourself or best yet, bring the family.
For more Cubs action, visit Mark’s blog, canuckcubbie.com.