What better way to celebrate Bastille Day than by taking my française to the most American of all American pastimes: a baseball game?
It turns out she did have some sense of how the game is played, which is quite impressive, since most Europeans are totally baffled by the slow pace and seeming stagnancy of the play, or they simply find it, well… dull, which it can be, I suppose.
Call me what you will, but this is the first baseball game I’ve been to in probably a dozen years, and even before that I’ve been to only a few. As I told my visitor, the game and its ambience are probably as foreign to me as they are to her, or at least it felt that way, yet at the same time it felt good to be, if only for a time, one of the tribe of mustard-covered hotdog eaters.
Oh how I clapped when the furry mascot ran across the field, and shouted with glee for the home-team’s homer, sighing with disappointment at their third out. This was a small stadium and the minorest of minor-league games, simple and authentic and homey, sans the intensity and commercialism of a big-league game.
While baseball is certainly not my favorite sport, I love live anything. Whether a concert or a game or a rally or any other live event there is always that undercurrent of excitement that makes you feel that anything can happen. There is action and reaction and a twist of fate that energizes in these times when we control so much of what we see and do with clicks and preferences. The crowd is alive, their words unguarded.
The simplicity of a summer-night’s baseball game felt at once so familiar yet so new when viewed through the eyes of another. Our attention was as much on the crowd as it was on the field and while we didn’t make it to the last inning, so don’t know who won, it really doesn’t matter. The air was cool and the grass was green, the bat cracked loudly as the ball soared high in the sky, up up up and over the fence.
“That’s good?” she asked me. “That,” I replied, “is great.”