Sunday, March 31, 2013

Angell, Thunder, Opening Day

The 2013 baseball season opens tonight when the Texas Rangers visit the Houston Astros. Optimism, pessimism, long afternoons, box scores, failures, beer, pleasures: it's all here again. Here's a Play Ball! thought from Roger Angell, from his Preface to his 1991 collection Once More Around The Park:
This is a linear sport. Something happens and then something else happens, and then the next man comes up and digs in at the plate. Here’s the pitch, and here, after a pause, is the next. There’s time to write it down in your scorecard or notebook, and then perhaps to look about and reflect on what s starting to happen out there now. It’s not much like the swirl and blur of hockey and basketball, or the highway car crashes of the NFL. Baseball is the writer’s game (there were three hundred and fifty baseball books published in the past year), and its train of thought, we come to sense, is a shuttle, carrying us constantly forward to the next pitch or inning, or to the sudden double into the left-field corner, but we keep hold of the other half of our ticket, for the return trip on the same line. We anticipate happily, and, coming home, reenter an old landscape brightened with fresh colors. Baseball games and plays and mannerisms (even the angle of a cap) fade stubbornly and come to mind unbidden, putting us back in some particular park on that special October afternoon or June evening. The players are as young as ever, and we, perhaps, not yet entirely old.

And here's a great tune from Johnny Thunder, in the spirit of things. Released in 1969, the year of the Amazin' Mets. So long, Winter!


Unknown said...

Film-maker Sean Dunne uses I'm Alive to accompany the closing credits of his very good mini-documentary Man in Van. It's only 6 minutes long and well worth a look. I use it in my comp classes as a prelude to a profile assignment.

Joe Bonomo said...

Very cool, Bob, thanks. One of my fave tunes. I'll look for that.