There may not be another time in history where baseball has been looked forward to more than this year. When something terrible happens, many of us turn to sports to provide some level of comfort, some normalcy. I think back to the first game in New York after 9/11 and what that meant to so many. We continue to watch sports because there is no guarantee on the outcome of the game. The championship team can lose to the team with the worst record. Upsets are the drama that keep us on the edge of our seats.
During WWII, baseball was important enough that it continued with the league creating a new professional league with women while the men were away at war. This time, with COVID in 2020, we were left without any sports – no real seasons, no spring training, no baseball, no basketball playoffs, no Olympics, not even kids sports. Major League Baseball managed a modified season from July 23rd – September 27th. It is weird watching games on TV with empty stands or print outs of fan pictures and crowd noises being fed in through the audio system. For many whose lives revolve around sports seasons, especially baseball and the tradition, 2020 was like no other.
We know we have a lot of “true fans” out there. The folks who are passionate, diehard fans. Win or lose. Rain or shine. No matter what. Those of you that have a story about why you love the game, whether it was backyard ball with your dad or child, or that first game you got to watch with your favorite player at your favorite stadium, or the time you played in your first real game, or just memories of pick-up ball with your neighborhood friends. So many of you have shared your first time listening to a game on the radio. Your favorite radio announcer who could call the game like no other. You have told us there is just nothing like listening to baseball on the radio. Radio will be right there alongside you on opening day. Your favorite announcers calling the play by play, giving you the backstories that you cannot hear unless you are listening to the radio. Storytelling in action.
Seeing things opening, and with Spring training under way and opening day on the very near horizon, it’s a new beginning. We know the real heroes during all this are the front-line workers – nurses, doctors, first responders, and all those deemed essential from grocery stores to gas stations. It seems absurd in some ways that sports can give us this hope, the feeling of normalcy that nothing else does. The simple, pure enjoyment. But it isn’t really absurd – it’s community. You are a part of something bigger. You are connected and if we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that connection is priceless.
Enter to Win! Please tell us in the comments “Your Favorite Baseball Story” and be entered to win a CC Pocket Radio. Drawing to be held 4/8/2021. Please, one entry per person.*
*Participants and winner(s) must be U.S. residents. Drawing will be selected at random from all eligible entries received.
Update: Congratulations to James Reyome on your winning entry for the CC Pocket Radio. Thank you all for your participation. We had many good entries and really enjoyed reading each comment!