Addicted to Baseball

Like what my friend said, baseball is like an art.  There are many different approaches to the painting (the game), different techniques and styles (ways of hitting, fielding, running, etc), and only one can paint that picture (a pitcher throwing the ball, a fielder catching a pop fly, a hitter hitting the ball). During your time thinking of what to do to paint that picture, you can feel the silence of the air while the pitcher takes a deep breath against the lonely blue sky above, as the sun slowly yet steadily sets on the horizon.  If you just sit there on the bench, listen and hear the silence, you definitely know you are in a world only a few can understand.  Everything is perfect - the diamond's 90ft outline, the athletic positions of the players, the stoic faces of the coaches, the umpire's stance before the pitch and the batter's focus and understanding of the situation, the picture.  Sure, perfection in many people's sense may mean an error-less, flaw-less situation or setting.  There are sure times when errors occur in baseball or players falter because of injuries or soreness.  But the way the game is played, the way a team stays focused for that ball that was hit, or the stride you take towards the hit - it just makes the game so enjoyable and worthwhile - just like perfection.  I bet I'm not making any sense at all.  Maybe you don't have the same love for baseball, the same feel for it, and the same respect to all its dimensions.  A good movie to watch to understand this feeling or to get you to understand what baseball means to me is The Field of Dreams.  This movie makes grown men cry - unfortunately I did not cry but I was moved from it.

As I sit here listening to the crickets outside, dusting off the baseball dirt from Maplewood Park, I just sit here amazed on how much I have given to the league and its players.  I still can't believe I've been coaching for six seasons already - 3 in Little League and 3 in Babe Ruth with one championship under my belt.  And now I'm still here strong and willing.  Now I volunteered to coach a great group of 14 to 15 year old kids who are probably the best in Babe Ruth.  Even if I chose to coach this team, I still feel honored for being their coach.  This 24 Hour Tournament I'm part of is one event of many for the 50th Anniversary for Malden Babe Ruth.  It is basically a set of games that the players can play for free and showcase their talent to the public.  There are no winners or losers.  We are basically raising money for the Jimmy Fund.

Then after that game I have two choices.  I can either go to Lynn and watch the North Shore Navigators play the Team USA Baseball squad or play a coach's softball game around 5:30pm.  So many choices, so little time. 

I'm growing tired and I promised one of my regular season players that I will watch his 3am game, which is part of that same tournament.  I will leave you with this remarkable speech Terrence Mann gave near the end of Field of Dreams -

"Ray, people will come Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come" (

- Coach Christian

If you want to come support the Jimmy Fund and watch the baseball game that I will coach, you can come down to Pine Banks Park (Kezer Field) at the Malden/Melrose, MA line around 9am June 14, 2008.  It is right on Main St. near the MBTA Oak Grove Station.  My younger brother who plays for the Malden Marlins will play the final game of the tournament around 3pm the same day.  I hope to see you there!

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This page contains a single entry by Tiongson, Christian J published on June 13, 2008 10:42 PM.

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