And I don't mean that in the "funny, ha, ha" kind of way. What I mean is that baseball can be hard to figure out at times - and so can the people playing it. We (I mean owners of course, but WE do pay for tickets and merchandise) pay star athletes millions of dollars, have high expectations for success, watch as the athletes do whatever they can to succeed, but ultimately show their human weaknesses.
Baseball is a funny game because at the heart of it is the idea that we want to play the game as well as we can so that we can have as much fun as we can. So, we practice, right? But practice isn't that fun ... is it? Well, in the end, it comes back to the idea of 'funny.' To me, it's funny that kids can call baseball practice 'boring' or 'work.' How can that be? Maybe they need to taste a bit more of what WORK really is. Maybe?
Well, my son isn't to that point yet. He still asks to hit off a tee into a net. He still wants to play catch for as long as he can and get a third person so that we can play 'pickle' in the back yard. He still wants to watch and learn and improve - and he thinks that's FUN!
It's fun to watch what young kids do. To help them - really to help anyone who is interested in learning. And I relish the fact that I have this summer to continue watching and enjoying this 'funny' game that I love so much. At it's root, it has the elements of what I'm all about and what I'd love to teach everyone else:
- Team. It's a team game. Life is. And so, too, is baseball.
- Sacrifice. And not just the bunts and fly balls.
(Sitting on the bench while someone else plays.)
(Putting in the time during practice so that you are better during games.)
- Helping others. Assisting, shagging, rooting, cheering, carrying, communicating. It's all there for us.
- Learning. You can learn ABOUT this game. And get better.You can learn FROM this game. And each other.
- Having fun. Not goofing around. Having fun. Enjoying the ability to move, run, hit, throw, think ... and work hard at it.