Baseball Is…


Tuesday morning I woke up and felt
like “connecting” with baseball fans that follow me on Twitter as
well as the folks on Facebook.  Oh, I’ve been connecting with my
“followers” and “friends” for some time…actually since
late May of last year when I finally decided to give social networking a
chance.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d be having
“conversations” with people I really don’t know…it’s the beauty of
the “space” we are currently experiencing.

Having immersed myself into Web 2.0 and
all of its trappings, I found myself a couple of months ago with an idea…a
concept if you will.  While there any number of sites that are out there
that offer a bevy of opportunities to “connect” and
“network” with people, there wasn’t one out there that met my
personal interests…at least not in functionality.  So I figured I’d do
my own…and that’s the “project” I’ve been working on.

Which brings me back to Tuesday
morning.  I love reading all the different articles out there on how
people have connected through social networking and how companies continue to
figure out how and to what extent social media can help them.  Personally,
I was feeling really generous because things have been good lately and I like
to “give”.  Professionally, I wanted a reaction.  I wanted
to see what people would do if I posed a question or thought and whether or not
enticing them would get their attention.

I asked for my “followers”
(I really don’t like that term, but I’ll leave that for another day) and
“friends” to complete this thought:  Baseball is…

I had no idea what to expect.
 For some, it was difficult to answer in 140 or fewer characters (and those
that couldn’t, posted it on my Facebook page).  For others, it was very
easy.  Never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate some of the responses
that I received and more importantly, I didn’t think it was going to be as difficult as it was to pick just one for the Jimmy Rollins helmet.  Man, I was dead
wrong.  After spending last night going through all of them, I picked the post by
Matt Rozycki who responded on Facebook
with the following:

Baseball
is more than a game. It’s a science, addiction, and lifestyle all wrapped in
one. Baseball fans don’t root for their favorite team. They breathe with them.
Their hearts beat with them. Baseball fans feel a greater love for their team
than most other people will feel in their entire lifetimes. Baseball isn’t
something that we watch at the end of the day; it’s something that we rush
through our day to get to. Baseball is one of the few things in life that
transcends time.

Nicely done Matt.  As I read
all of the thoughts, I came to the conclusion they needed to be posted so
everyone can see how others view this grand game of ours.  Oh, before I forget…here’s mine:

Baseball
is the essence of my being.  It’s
what I was born into; raised in; and currently immersed in.  It’s not being able to explain to
others just how much you care because there are no words.  It’s what I know and have always
known.  It’s why two of my children
have names such as Mattingly and Hobbs.

Enjoy the following posts and thank you to all for participating.  I loved reading every single one and as
always, I appreciate your interactions in the social space.  Feel free to post more thoughts in the
comments section.  I’m hopeful we
can take our “conversations” to a different place at the end of the month…

Baseball is… 

·          Ultimate
entertainment – age 1-100.  Something
fun for everyone.

·          How I
connect with the important men in my life. And how I make stuff happen with “important” men @ work.

·          LIFE

·          Taking its
time to get here!!!

·          What allows
us to dream…allows us adults to stay young and innocent

·          A
privilege.  Live it, love it,
respect it!

·          My
life-blood during my military career, following my team got me through all the
bad times.  Thank you MLB!

·          Hard to
watch if you’re a Mets fan

·          In our
blood

·          When all
you think, all you and say and you do are in harmony

·          Nirvana in
the dog days of summer

·          The
beautiful mix of tradition, competition and passion that will continue to unify
the world for years to come

·          The best
excuse to talk to your parents, your kids, your family, your friends or the
person next to you

·          The sports
equivalent of comfort food.  What
you come back to when you’re sick of the fancy ****

·          A
language…we communicated to other with our play

·          A
connection to the past, our vision into the future and the life and blood of
America

·          My escape
from the ordinary

·          The reason
I’m single.  Girls have a low
tolerance for guys who spend 8 hours a day watching baseball after work

·          Everything
that football does not have…passion

·          What brings
everyone together regardless of age or race

·          A
motivation – unexplainable – a spiritual event that lifts the soul – A game not
long enough, for each play excites me

·          So much
better during the offseason now that MLB Network exists

·          Life from
childhood memories through adulthood from the calming sights & sounds
provided by the game

·          What binds
our nation together

·          A dream for
some, a reality for others, but essentially it’s a joy for all

·          A
referendum on life, one inning at a time

·          What I look
forward to through the trying times of football season

·          A rush, a
surge, a rage of energy.  A relief,
a retreat, a calming pastime.  A
ball of memories wrapped in one.

·          My sunshine
on a rainy day if the roof is closed. 
A love in my heart around Valentines Day

·          What I wait
all football season for

·          Yankee
Stadium in October

·          Hot dogs
and beer

·          What we
wait for during football season

·          My refuge

·          8 days
away!  Finally!

·          A microcosm
of Life on a 360ft. diamond

·          The reason
I am going to Florida for one week. 
Spring Training baby

·          Better in
Texas with Nolan in and Hicks out! 
“Hello Win Column”

·          Perfection

·          The summer
sun warming your face w/ lemonade, w/ smells of dirt and grass

·          Our
beautiful game for there is as much poetry in it as anywhere in sport.  Oh yes, there is magic on those fields!

·          Standing
out in centerfield looking towards the infield, forgetting everything but the
most wonderful thing

·          An Epic
Story

·          The most
horrible curse that’s even been inflicted upon me

·          A pastime
that keeps us preoccupied for 162 days a year and the reason I am so good at
web design

·          An escape
from having to think about anything else but still able to keep mind engaged
and brain thinking

·          The
fountain of youth.  Where else can
40 year olds play sports?

·          The great
American catalyst.  Nothing brings
people together like baseball. 
Probably the #1 reason 2 strangers will stop and talk

·          The
enduring definition of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

·          My life, my
wife and everything I love to do. 
It is my obsession and it is where all of the money I earn goes

·          The ice in
the drink of life.  Irreplaceable

·          A simple
game that inspires complex strategies, passion and emotions; elation, despair
and unyielding loyalty

·          Something
EVERYONE can love and appreciate

·          The only
sport my wife likes…our vacations: WBC, Spring Training, Road trips

·          Like Jack
Bauer.  Both will keep you on the
edge of your seat wanting more

·          The only
reason why I wake up EVERY morning

·          The best
boyfriend I’ve ever had (We’ve been going steady for 3 years)

·          More than a
game.  It’s a form of art,
utilizing the strategies of chess, yet with an appeal that reaches the heart of
a child

·          The gift
that keeps on giving

·          The place I
can escape the work world and remember when it was always just my dad and I at
the park

·          Less than a
month away

·          The only
reason I would ever listen to what Bud Selig would ever say

·          Forever’s
game

·          About the
love of the game.  It is about
spending time with family and friends, tailgating and eating good food.  Baseball is also Americas pastime and
is the best sport in the US

·          Where I
took my wife on our first date and why I named my sons Ryan & Brett

·          The only
game that can unite a country after September 11
th, be past down
through generations through remarkable stories like how fast Ricky Henderson
truly was and how fast Nolan Ryan could the the ball, and is the only game
where I can convince my wife to skip watching the dang Bachelor because the
Rangers are on the MLB Network

·          Not just a
game…it’s a life.  You have your
ups and downs and you struggle to not strike out and give up.  You live to win!

·          The low and
outside fastball on the black, the 3-2 curveball, the squeeze play in the 9
th,
the foul ball by 2 inches, the bad call at first base, the 4 year old sleeping
during extra innings, and the hot dog vendor yelling something you can’t
understand.  It’s breaking up the
double play, the check swing appeal, the fungo bat, and batting gloves in the
back pocket.  It’s running on a
non-stealing count, getting thrown out trying to take the extra base, trotting
in from the bullpen, and chewing a giant wad of gum.  All in all, baseball is just plain amazing.

·          What makes this country
great. No matter your political views, your race, your age, your gender, your
income…etc, baseball is what brings people together for a common good, often
to the tune of 35,000 to 45,000 at a time. Baseball is often the building block
for a son to have a relationship with his father, particularly during the
awkward teen years when “dad can’t understand anything”. It links
generations together–My grandparents are 80 and watch every single televised
game (roughly 159/season), and I can talk about “that play in the top of
the 6th” with my grandfather (or grandmother, for that matter), the next
day. Baseball is universal, and helped begin the healing process for our nation
after 9.11. It pre-dates so many of our national traditions, and is woven into
the very fabric of who we are. I am so proud that, in recent years, we have
started to (officially) share this wonderful game with other nations around the
world. Seriously, I could go on for days.

·          What keeps you from running
off a bridge because you’re stuck in (Dallas) Cowboy nation. The thoughts of
baseball are crucial for survival.

·          Not a hobby…it’s a way of
life…. it’s like looking at the ball and glove and saying hey bud…. let’s
party…Spicolli..circa 1980ish!!!!!!!

·          Baseball is what brings spring
sooner. Knowing catchers and pitchers are reporting makes feet of snow a little
more tolerable.

·          Crazy! It’s the one sport
that I’ll watch on a nightly basis with my husband. The only thing that makes
me crazy enough to stand in 4-inch deep water puddles at the Ballpark in
Arlington while watching a doubleheader against a team like the A’s. The one
sport that makes my husband crazy enough to convince me to name our son that’s
due in June “Nolan Ryan Austin Roberts,” the only sport that I’m interested
enough to have my own fantasy team and learning guys crazy names like Coco
Crisp or Milton Bradley. (thought that was a joke when I first heard his name)
It is a passion of our family and has become part of our identity. Through all
the years of suffering as a Rangers fan we continue to have hope that some day
we will taste victory, and until then I will continue to stand up in pouring
rain and cheer on some guy named Ichiro.

·          What makes my heart
smile…

·          The reason my DVR is
broken…Darn you C.J. Wilson for making me rewind and replay you so much!!

·          As my 3 year old, Aimon,
puts it…”Dad, Baseball is Life.”

·          What has me rushing home
after work to catch the 5 o clock hot stove. Baseball is what keeps me going
whenever everything else in life isn’t going the way I want it to. With loved
ones losing their job, losing hair because you’re so stressed out, living
paycheck to pay check, baseball finds a way to keep you going. Baseball is
life; it’s my passion in life that will never go away.

·          What I’m using right now to
help my son learn how to turn fractions into percentages! Batting averages
rule!

·          Always a great way to help
fill any awkward situation, and create a common unity with complete strangers.

·          Such a great game where you
can have writers/broadcasters/fans/players all tweeting like crazy trying to
find the most clever thing to say during a Twins vs Tigers game in the
metrodome. I’ll never forget watching that game and seeing everything that I
love about baseball all wrapped into one game. It’s the one game where it can
make all of us flat out giddy and it’s the one thing that can get tons of
people all trying to find one thing creative enough to win the amazing gift of
J-Ro’s helmet

·          Spending Super Bowl Sunday
having a good time in a cramped little booth in Secaucus remembering players,
projecting stars and having a good time hearing and telling stories about the
game we love.

·          Hope

·          America’s Pastime and the
best sport out there! It’s Mom, Apple Pie, Hot Dogs and Beer, it’s a love of
the game, it’s the best sport on grass, it’s Spring and Summer altogether…and
it’s the ties that bound me and my family together when I was 4 years old…and
I am still a fan to this day!  I
LOVE BASEBALL!

·          Almost here, thank goodness

·          Summertime!!!!

·          NOT just a bat & a
ball…. it’s got a field, bases, players, fans, food, cheering, umpires,
traditions, boos, music & a well of American passion that will bring a
grown man to tears!

·          Sunday afternoon with the
family and a few cold ones cheering on the home team. It’s the Sunday afternoon
game that I enjoy most!

·          Ballet in the dirt, every
move eloquently mastered.

·           Like spring. It brings the
renewal of life, of warmth, of faith. Everybody has an equal chance, a
fairness, and everything starts out smoothly.

·          Baseball means peace to me
because I’m free to play the game I love. Running, sliding, hitting, catching,
diving and throwing. It’s having fun and being free. I’m free from my medicines
and it brings peace to my heart! …. Baseball is a drug that can cure an
illness!

·          More than just a sport.
Baseball brings great friends, new and old, together to the ballpark and
partake in America’s greatest pastime. When I think of baseball, I think of
unity and gracefulness. As you sit and watch the game, there’s always a chance
you could be watching history, and that is an amazing feeling. Whenever the
season comes around a feeling like no other takes over my body. Indescribable
really. This feeling lasts to the very last pitch of the World Series. I’m a die-hard
Phillies phan, but honestly it’s the game of baseball and all of its grace that
I’m a true fan of. Baseball is more than just a sport, and it has a different
meaning to each individual fan. That’s what makes baseball great.

·          The game that makes very
elderly New England women smile and laugh on a jam packed subway at 11:30 at
night and say, “Wasn’t that GREAT?” on their way home from Fenway. It
is also the game that has made many cranky New Englanders smile when they hear
“Sweet Caroline” because it brings back such fond memories of being
at Fenway. Baseball gives New Englanders hope — hope for spring, hope for
summer, hope for victory, hope for the pennant.

·          The real “Beautiful Game.” There is no rival in the
poetry of sports. It is leather, wood, grass and dirt. It is history and legend
while relevant and modern and it delights in bringing the two together. It is
the magic of Buerhle in ’09, the awe of Carter in ’93, and the hope of Boston
in ’04. It is the mourning when the joy of Pittsburgh was taken from us; the
still shed tears with Gehrig and the courage of Robinson and Doby. It is
Cooperstown, hot dogs, it is “Take me out to the ball game” and
“Sweet Caroline,” and it is the local traditions of every stadium and
fan. It is the unquantifiable beauty of a well-turned double play. It is the
tangible spirit of fans, players, cities and nations. The pride of victory and
the sadness of defeat. It is all of these things and more but it is always the
grandest of old games.

·          Quite a conundrum. For a few lucky ones, it provides for the
family. For most of us, however, it turns our beautiful wives into
“baseball widows” for 9, if not 12 months out of the year. But no
matter how you look at it, baseball is great!!!

·          “Baseball IS All of This and More” – A Poem

Baseball IS…

The Sox versus the Yanks,

And pie-in-the-face pranks.

It’s a few dogs and a few
beers,

It’s a few boos and a few
cheers.

It’s controversy left by
steroids and “juice”,

It’s mound intimidation from
Randy and Goose.

It’s a guy named Cal who
never wanted to sit,

And a transfer named MJ who
could barely even hit.

It’s Boston and New York
always being a buyer.

It’s a robbed fly ball by
some kid named Jeffrey Maier.

Some guy named Joe with no
shoes and no laces,

It’s controversy of
Spiderman being on the bases.

A man named Rickey who was
always “on the go”,

Or that guy Knoblauch who
plain forgot how to throw.

It’s a Pujols moonball that
takes forever before it lands,

It’s Derek Jeter hustling
and diving into the stands.

It’s “Manny being Manny”
and Griffey Jr. – “The Kid”,

It’s that unspeakable thing
that poor Steve Bartman did.

It’s thinking a 3-0 series
lead was nothing but a lock,

It’s a Game 6 gem
symbolized by a bloody sock.

It’s dirt and mud and grass
and hats,

It’s balls and gloves and
cleats and bats…

Baseball is a highlight of
my life…

And complete hell for the
wife.

Baseball is all of this and
more…

…So let’s get the 2010
season started,

 29 teams are waiting to
even the score.

·          Will Smith rap “Just the Two of Us,” re-written for
this special occasion

Just the Two of Us

From the first time the
doctor placed me in my moms arms,

She knew I’d be wearing a
glove on my right arm.

Although questions arose if
I’d be tall enough,

Would I be able to throw
the ball far enough?

From the hospital that
first night,

I started to swing a bat it
was quite a delight.

My mom got kind of upset,

She wanted me to be a
scientist.

That night the ball game
was on,

Sure enough Harold Reynolds
hit one gone.

That’s when my mom knew I
was lost in this game,

25 years later and the
Rangers still no ring.

Just the two of us, me and
that Rollins helmet can make it if we try, Just the two of us, (just the two
us)

Just the two of us, until
it’s passed down to my son from the sky Just the two of us, that Rollins helmet
and I

*That has to the be worst
rap ever but that’s as much as I got while sitting in my cubicle here at work

 

1 Comment

Great stuff Victor! Only in baseball can you get such a passionate response from so many people. Yesterday was a lot of fun. At one point during the night I looked over at my wife and told her that I thought there was a chance I was going to get the helmet with a horrible rap. She kept pushing refresh after refresh on facebook up until the time you announced who the winner was. I think you chose a good one for the winner. Looks like a tough decision based on all the others that were given. Can’t wait for the unveiling of the “project.” As always, loved your time in Texas and love your work on the Network. Hope to meet you someday and talk baseball.

-Brandon
joebrandonroberts.mlblogs.com

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