Friday, July 24, 2020

Looking back

Not that you asked, but I'm dubious about the runner standing out on second at the start of extra innings ("I missed it; how'd he get on second?"), the expanded playoffs (for $$$, I mean, fairness), the piped-in Crowd Noise and virtual fans in the stands as well as the Houston Astros playing without enduring the fair-and-balanced judgments of drunk fans (are they going to pipe in lusty boos when Jose Altuve's at the plate?), and the very fact of a baseball season (with traveling, spitting, high fives, physical intimacy among players, etc.) occurring in a pandemic, even with cautionary practices in place and robust testing.

Yet, historically at least, this season will be pretty damn interesting to watch. And I'm intrigued thinking about a 12-, 13- or 14-year old fan for whom the 2020 season is their formative season, the campaign that ignites their love of the game and to which they warmly return in memory for decades. Mine was the '78 season, for many reasons; I was twelve and I loved Reggie and Lou Piniella and the rancorous Yankees, and with some lean years along the way—the game was replaced by rock and roll and girls for quite a spell—I've been a lifelong fan, though one armed with plenty of complaints about the sport, though rarely the game. I'm looking forward to the future memoir written by the middle-aged fan whose love for baseball was sparked by that crazy 2020 season when they were a kid, when the Pandemic raged, when the game stood at a crossroads of sorts when many were writing it off. At the time it all seemed so serious and important. You know, memory. Oh, and those masks (some of) the players wore!

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