PLAY BALL!

By: Enrique Sierra, Jr.

 

Every sport has its thing. Here in the United States, football, baseball, and basketball reign well above the others in fandom. NFL football is about the party. A game that only takes place once a week, usually on a Sunday and is about as brutal, food-and-drinks filled, and cheerful as any group setting can be. Whether you find yourself making it out to the stadium or staying at home, football is most often highlighted by the tailgates, the hangout, and the raw emotions of the game to be shared amongst friends (or inebriated strangers at the closest watering hole). NBA basketball is about the event. Basketball feels like an outing, a nice evening out you might dress up for and enjoy with a date, or even with friends. The on-court superstars are on display, the celebrities are sitting court-side, the arena is exuberant, but at a controlled amount. The at-home experience is not the same, but still varies greatly from that of football. The NCAA sports bond is a fascinating one because of the assessment of where the alliance for the university/college ends and where the love of the game begins. Baseball, however, baseball is different. Oh, baseball…

 

I have a very specific bias for baseball, I will make no excuses for it nor will I issue apologies for what might sound like preference. “America’s Favorite Pastime” is my favorite sport and it always has been. Having said that, this is not a piece in which I am interested in choosing one sport over another, or persuade my position upon anyone. I merely want to take a look at baseball and its fandom, but inevitably, my bias will show.

Baseball is beautiful. Unrivaled by any other major sport in the states in its particular form of passion, baseball is like poetry. It takes love, dedication, and commitment. A six-month span that covers 162 regular season games night after night, a nine inning (at least) affair that can feature an entertaining slugfest or a nail-biting pitcher’s duel, indeed baseball is for the romantics. Baseball is generational, passed down from parents to children, the smell of the leather glove, the crack of the wooden bat. As intricate as the cork, strings, cover and 108 seams that assemble its namesake, baseball requires a little piece of the soul for the initiated bunch that have chosen to hitch their wagon to it and their favorite teams, fully aware of the possible height of bliss or depths of misery.

The Miami Marlins opened their season on the road against the Washington Nationals and then moved on to visit the New York Mets. After two road series, the Fish will now open at home. Tuesday, April 11th at 7:10 PM, The Marlins will take on the Atlanta Braves in front of the Miami faithful. This is not an article about the Marlins, there will be plenty of time to get into them throughout the season. When first pitch comes around on Tuesday at 7:10 PM, at that specific moment, it matters not how good or shitty the Marlins will be this season, for there will be so many more meaningful things taking place.

 

My name is Enrique Sierra, Jr. Junior because my father decided to pass down his name to me along with the significance of what he viewed to be a decent human being. He passed down many things to me, as I will continue to do with my own son. Among those things, my dad and I have always shared a love for baseball and, with it, the occasional catch or visit to the batting cages. I love that man, and I love my son, who is already old enough to understand the importance of baseball in my life and has developed an attachment to it of his own. On Tuesday, April 11th, 2017, we will attend Opening Day as we do every year. They will both be by my side (as will other friends and family), we will get to the ballpark early, pick up our magnetic schedules, stand for the national anthem and the 7th inning stretch, and enjoy all those things only baseball has to offer. It will not be lost on me that it is much more than a sport to us, it is the cause for so many of our memories, a source of passion, a reason to be together, and so much more that words fail to properly express.

 

The Lemon Drop is a weekly segment entertaining whatever the hell comes to the mind of Enrique Sierra, Jr. (Hipster Rick). Simply a sports lover who is way more giddy about Opening Day than any grown man should be. Please click back next Tuesday for more and feel free to comment or engage us through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Enrique Sierra
Enrique Sierra, Jr. is a writer, editor, and podcast co-host for Lemon City Live. A Miami, Florida sports fanatic just trying to live the dream.
http://www.lemoncitylive.com

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