A Letter to Baseball
Baseball. America’s pastime.
I think I can speak for everyone in saying we dearly, dearly miss you.
And we have to apologize. We’ve taken you for granted.
For decades, it was certainty that every summer the ballparks would be full, the hot dogs and hamburgers would be on the grill, and the sound of organs would echo through the summer air. Everything would be as it should be. But now, the parks sit empty. The grass quietly waits for us to return, for everything to go back to normal.
Will we have a season? Nobody knows. Nobody seems to know anything these days. One thing is clear, though: how much you’ve given us in return for so little.
You’ve given us our heroes. Cy. Babe. Jackie. Roberto. Hank. Junior. Papi. The faces that lit up our childhoods with vivid color and brightened our growing lives with purpose. The faces we dreamt we could be, in backyards and streets from Tucson to Hackensack, from San Jose to Sault St. Marie. The goliaths of sport that have lifted our hearts on high and struck down our deepest hopes and dreams.
You’ve been there for us through every war, every depression, every kind of tragedy. You were there when nothing seemed right and it felt like the next day would never come. That’s why it feels so wrong that you can’t be here with us now.
You’ve been the light that shines on our past, showing us what we can be, even as you remind us of who we are. We are all Americans. No matter how much money we make, or what God we pray to, or the color of our skin, you belong to us all. You’ve surrounded us with moments of perfection beyond anything this world should be able to offer. It’s your magic that shows us that, even in the worst circumstances, there is always a light on the horizon.
But for now, we are alone, in the middle of the night, trudging through the storm towards that horizon of hope.
With no baseball to soothe our souls, we can only relive our fond memories of the past. Nights huddled up against the hum of the radio; postseason miracles of every kind; walk-off home runs in the bottom of the ninth. The moments that made us all fall so deeply in love with you.
They’re not the real thing, but it’s better than nothing.
A day will come when we all look back on this and we will barely remember the last few months. We will forget all those who suffered and who sacrificed so much for us. We will play, or watch, our games on warm Saturday summer afternoons in happy ignorance and peace.
But for now, we sit, and the grass quietly waiting. Waiting, because there is no question:
We will be back.