Please welcome DeAnna Williamson to the Tales From the Juicebox family. DeAnna is an avid Astros fan and can be found at Minute Maid Park for most home games. She lives in the Houston area with her two dogs, who are both Astros fans – whether they realize it or not!
As baseball season approaches and we’re making due with somewhat meaningless Spring Training games, I started to wonder why we love baseball so much.
Believe it or not, I have friends who don’t love baseball. Sometimes I wonder why we continue to be friends but I suppose I have to have something to do in the off season. But these friends complain that baseball is boring…it’s too slow. They don’t understand the strategies and the intricacies and the heart it takes to win a ball game.
But sometimes it’s not about the base stealing, the home run hitting, and the perfect game throwing. Sometimes it’s about what it takes just to keep going when things seem hopeless. This made me reminisce about an Astros game I attended early last season.
The Astros defeated the Padres by a narrow margin of 1-0. It was one of those classic pitcher’s duels that so many of us love. For some, it’s not as exciting as bomb after bomb in a big hitting game but I love the nuances of the pitches, the finesse of the pitching and on a weekday night, I loved the fact that the game flew by in less than 2 hours.
Pitcher Lucas Harrell threw a complete game and in the 9th inning, when the bases suddenly loaded, you knew that he was tired; he had to be! Standing there, in the crowd, I looked at my friend Lindsey and I said “This could end disastrously!” We were nervous. There were 2 outs and 3 men on base. One good hit and this thing would get ugly, fast.
But I felt it. Somehow, in that crowd of thousands, I actually felt Lucas Harrell dig deep and deliver the next three strikes. It was an exciting win, especially as you’re biting your nails at the end.
On the drive home, I thought about those last few strikes Harrell threw. He had been working for 9 innings, throwing pitch after pitch and then suddenly, that last inning got a little out of hand. He had a decision to make; he could give up and allow the coach to bring in a reliever or he could find that strength inside himself to finish this game.
We all go through these moments in our life, don’t we? We are in a situation where we can give up or we can dig deep and grab that “oomph” to propel you into your next moment.
Don’t we all wish we could do that? I wonder sometimes where I might find strength. It’s easy to get mired in our own pity. For me, it helps to know that I’m not the only one who has ever walked down this road…whatever road that is.
I’m not the only one who has suffered fatigue, sadness, loss, hard times…
I’m not alone on this road because there is always either someone ahead of me or someone behind me. And just because I find my way, doesn’t mean I won’t be on this road again.
So, what more can I do other than adjust my crotch, spit in the dirt, watch the runners at first and third, nod at the catcher’s signs, dig deep and pray for that one last strike.
This is why I love baseball.