April 10, 2010: Kate West
(originally published on @the3six5 website)
Monday was Opening Day (Opening Night, April 4) in the baseball world. That may not mean much to non-sports fans, but it’s a time for celebration for us die-hards. Or those of us who used to be die-hard at any rate. I was into the San Francisco Giants for a number of years and for different reasons (life stuff I won’t get into here), I no longer follow them. However, whenever I go up to the Bay Area I still enjoy an outing to AT&T Park. No, I don’t like the name either, but the stadium is beautiful, old-time, baseball fun and right on the Bay. Steadfast fans in boats retrieve soaked foul balls for a chance at a five-second news spot.
Anyway, I like visiting there with my dad and today, in celebration of his recently turning 70, we’re going back, just for fun. No stakes. Ever since seeing “Field of Dreams” for the first time, I partly associate symbolic fatherly love with playing catch. It didn’t occur to my father to do that with me, since I am a girl after all, (no offense gal athletes), but I nagged him into it and eventually we started throwing the old ball around in local parks and that really started my love of baseball which I still cherish, whether or not I follow an actual team.
Today though, my dad will walk with a cane and we’ll just talk about days in the park, as both of us are considerably older now. We’ll enjoy the atmosphere, eating as much as we want from vendors (since Mom is staying home) and looking down on our opponents (the Atlanta Braves). Maybe I’ll even buy a t-shirt. No matter how many times we’ve been, we both still marvel at that first glimpse of green field, the blue of the ocean and the cracks of the bats as the players warm up. That sound will always remind me of Dad and as we get ready to go, I am so grateful to have the chance to do this again. For me, nothing starts off springtime like a good game of baseball. And time with family.
Ready? “Play Ball!”
(...and if the game gets rained out, we'll rent a baseball movie.)
About the author: Kate West lives in Los Angeles with an extensive theatre background and has been reviewing on her website since 2003.