I went to a minor league ballgame today, and had a lovely time. Our guys won, the other pitcher had a horrible day -- throwing into the dirt left and right, and on one occasion losing a ball in the air as it fell behind him, picking it up, and then dropping it, so our guy got on base when by all rights he shouldn't have -- and I shook hands with our team's mascot. Also, I had beer and a bratwurst dog while sitting in the sun on a gorgeous day, and these are pleasures not to be underrated. The best hit of the game was taken by the umpire, when a foul ball nailed her right in the chest protector. The thump echoed all over the stadium, but she didn't even flinch.
I have never cared for the majors, but I love minor league and college ball with a deep and abiding warmth. This probably has something to do with my memories of going to minor league ball with my father when I was a small boy -- childhood pleasures seem to grow as the years pass -- but I think it also has to do with the fact that the stakes are lower, so it feels more like a game to me. Though I've enjoyed the horse racing I've seen, and that's not exactly a low-rent sport. So who knows?