First of all, thank you to the amazing Toni for allowing me to be here with all of you today. She’s such an inspiration to a new writer like me, and her love of hockey is infectious, something I can appreciate as the daughter of a retired high school hockey coach. But I’m not here to gush about Toni or talk about hockey. I’m here to talk about baseball, and I hope some of you are fans like me. If you’re not, I’m going to convince you to give it a try by listing some of my favorite things about the sport. At the end, I’d love it if you’d add your favorite things about baseball, too, and if you do, you’ll have a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card and be entered into my grand prize drawing, celebrating the release of Save My Soul, my debut novel, and the first book in the Kemmons Brothers Baseball Series!
So here we go…the first part is sung to the tune of “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music. No, no, I’m kidding. I couldn’t figure out how to make that work. It’s just a list of my favorite things about baseball in no particular order:
1. Homeruns: I’m a sucker for the anticipation, the “will it” or “won’t it” clear the wall? And I love when the crowd jumps to their feet as though they’re tethered at the waist. It’s the only time you will ever hear me whoop.
2. Hot dogs: They taste better at the ballpark. And if you can catch one that’s been shot by the mascot from a high-powered, handheld cannon into the crowd, it’s guaranteed to taste even better.
3. Rundowns: When a base runner gets trapped between first and second or second and third with opposing players guarding each bag and attempting to get the runner out, I’m on the edge of my seat. More often than not, I end up laughing. It’s the ultimate game of tag.
4. Leaping or sliding catches in the outfield: I swear these guys must have been gymnasts or ballerinas in past lives. I’ve seen literal summersaults, and the ball somehow manages to hit and stick to the mitt. Crazy!
5. Oversized, ice-cold beer served in plastic bottles with twist tops: I don’t know why, but beer tastes better this way.
6. 6-4-3 Double Plays: These are so common, but when the short stop fields a ball and tosses it to the second baseman for an out, and then the second baseman guns the ball to first for that out, resulting in two outs on one play, it’s poetry in motion.
7. Watching a pitcher’s facial expressions: At home games, I’m lucky to sit very close to the field with a head-on view of the pitcher. Unless we’re at bat, I’m watching the pitcher. It fascinates me how calm and cool most of these guys remain even in the face of poor performances. When they can’t keep their composure, it’s equally fascinating and sometimes sad. I’ve been known to cry a time or two for a pitcher who’s having a bad day.
8. The grounds crew: When I catch a ride to the stadium with Hubby, I arrive earlier than most fans, and I stay later. Usually this is when I pull out my Kindle and pass the time productively, but I read in between watching the grounds crew prep the field. It’s crazy how much work goes into keeping the dirt and grass pristine. And they’re all dressed alike and move as a unit when it comes to unrolling tarps. Talk about teamwork.
9. Little kids who bring their mitts and desperately want a foul ball: I love watching their faces when a player or the batboy tosses a ball into the rows behind the dugout. It’s pure magic, like the prize isn’t a scuffed up ball of cork and leather at all, like it’s the world’s biggest diamond.
10. The players: What kind of romance writer would I be if I couldn’t appreciate an athlete worthy of a little ogling? On occasion, I haul a girlfriend to the park with me, and it’s one big giggle fest while we pay closer attention to who’s on deck than what’s happening on the field.
Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? If you’re a baseball fan like me, leave a comment sharing your favorite thing about the game. And if you’re not yet a fan, leave a comment telling me which one of my favorite things is most likely to get you to the ball park. The winner of a $25 Amazon.com gift card will be chosen from the commenters. (The winner will also be entered into my grand prize drawing for a choice between ONE of the following: $100 gift card to Sundance Catalog OR $100 gift card to Cabela’s OR $100 gift card to BRAVO! Cucina Italiana. You don’t have to win here to enter, though, just hop over to my site for more information.)
Elley Arden is the wife of a baseball team physician, the mother of three kids, including a high school pitcher, and the author of Save My Soul: Book One in the Kemmons Brothers Baseball Series. She’s considering changing her middle name to Baseball to reflect the familial obsession. 😉 You can learn more at ElleyArden.com, on Twitter or Facebook.
My favorite thing about baseball is when the least suspecting player gets the go ahead hit to win the game.
Hi, Kyrissa! Thanks for stopping by. I know just what you mean, and I love it even more when it’s a guy’s MLB debut. Can you imagine what that feels like? I mean to get the shot you’ve always dreamed of and to perform like that under pressure. Pure magic! 🙂
One of my favorite things at a baseball game is when they play the players favorite song, to get them pumped up, before they get up at bat. It’s interesting to see what music they like to hear.
Cheryl! I LOVE that, too. On our team, I’m always surprised to hear the mix. We have Mexican music, rap, dubstep, country and rock–I’m sure I’m missing things. Some of the song choices make sense, like a country song for a guy from Texas, but other choices leave me scratching my head. lol. Thanks for commenting!
I love the feeling of walking into the park and seeing the perfect green grass. I remember the first time I ever went to a ball game and seeing the field for the first time. A great childhood memory for me. The players are fun to watch too!;)
Hi, Julia! Thanks for stopping by! The field is amazing, isn’t it? I wish I could get my grass to look like that. Fat chance! Lol. I’ve always been intrigued by the patterns different teams mow into the fields, too. 🙂
I love the weather that comes with baseball season….especially after a long cold winter!
Oh my goodness yes, Kim!! As I’m typing this reply we had an overnight snowstorm. Ridiculous!! I want 80-degree Saturday nights at the ballpark NOW! 😉 Thanks for commenting.
The park- whether it is the food, the fellow fans or joking with the rival team’s fans, there is no where else I would rather be on a warm spring or summer day than sipping a cold beer in the stands watching my team with my friends. There is no atmosphere like a baseball field, park, or stadium in the summer no matter what league it is.
Lisa, we must be kindred spirits, because I feel exactly the same way. It’s everything about the atmosphere. When I’m watching at home, I can smell the dirt. I can hear the buzz. True story: standing in the dugout once when the stadium was empty, I had this overwhelming feeling I’d been there before. From that point on, I started telling Hubby I was obviously a baseball player in a past life. lol. Thanks for visiting with me today!
The form fitting uniforms…as a die hard Hockey fan you have to wonder what each player looks like under the layers of pads and clothing…
Lolol! So, so true, Laurie. Thanks for the comment!
I love all of your reasons as to why we should go to the ballpark, but my one reason is spending time with the family. Nothing beats quality time with the family more than cheering for our team and the seventh inning stretch.
I’m so glad you brought this up, Evelyn! There is something very poignant about baseball games as a family. I’ve been to football games where the atmosphere is downright toxic for kids, but MOST of the time, it’s really very family-friendly at baseball games. I have fond memories of linking arms and singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!
We don’t have baseball here we have Gaelige football, Hurling for boys & its Camogie for girls……but I do like to read all the sport books I’ve just ordered Save My Soul of Amazon .
Rosemarie! That all sounds awesome. I had to look up a couple of those things. 🙂 And you buying the book made my day!! Thank you so very much. I hope you enjoy it.
The overall atmosphere of being at a baseball game – the All American Sport. I’m BARELY old enough to remember an old commercial whose jingle said, “Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.” 3 out 4 ain’t bad!!! I used to score keep intramural softball games (close enough) in college – so being at a baseball game always brings back memories.
Janell, baseball is a big memory maker for so many people. And like you pointed out, it’s not just professional games. Being involved as a youth leaves a lasting impression. Thanks so much for stopping by!
I haven’t been to an MLB game in a long time!! I like watching the minor league (farm) teams, especially the Altoona Curve!!!
I loved reading your numbers 9 & 10 reasons. I love watching the kids try for the balls and the smile on their face when they catch one!! And, of course, I love checking out the players in those tight pants!!! Yum!!!!
Why and I suddenly craving peanuts and cracker jack???? Looking forward to your book!1
Ooh, Carol! I’m a huge advocate for supporting MiLB and indie teams. Toni and I are on a blog together called Romancing the Jock, and I just wrote a post about it over there. I LOVE that you support the Curve!! Thank you so much for commenting.
I’m a Braves fan and like you I do enjoy baseball. I also like to watch the kiddies play, from those who use a T, to the older ones who have finally figured out what is going on and what they need to do in their position. My son played ball and usually he was the catcher, and oh how did he get dirty. Going out to the ballfield and watching the little ones play is so much fun. When they first start playing, that’s exactly what they do in outfield, tossing their glove, checking to see that is going on at the other playing field, having fun with another kid in the outfield. They truly have no clue, but they are fun to watch. I will check your website out and look forward to learning more about you.
Ginger, your post reminded me of something I adored while my youngest son, now a teen, played as a little boy. He used to play outfield and pick dandelions. LOL. When a ball was hit to him, he was clueless. When he grew older and started to play catcher, he hit his stride, because he was involved in every play. He’s since switched to lacrosse. My oldest is a high school pitcher, and I love watching how much the boys have grown over the years.
Thank you for chiming in here and prompting those memories, and thanks for checking me out. I appreciate it. 🙂
The way that you can put the differences between teams and have fun in the park, the good the hot dogs are, but if you tried the hot dog outside the park they taste funny!!! the way the mascot of the team dance and how he make funny of the other team!!! trying not to get wet when the crowd gets mad and start throwing beer!!! (never go to a game with your hair dry), because at the end you watch a game, you get to talk with strangers, to dance, to laugh and have one of the greatest moments of the life!!! (and yes the baseball players look good in the uniforms) 🙂 (these is what happens in a venezuelan baseball game)
Wow! Carolina, I want to go to a game in Venezuela. You sound like you have even more fun than we do in the US. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing what you love about the sport.
We really don’t have much baseball here in Australia but when I was little I played a few times a school and have sen it in movies and when I played I loved trying to hit the damm ball, your so focused on the pitcher and the ball the rest of the park doesn’t exist. I wih we had more baseball here as I know I would watch it, Australian sports are a bit boring lol
Adriana, there is a Major League Baseball Academy in Gold Coast, Australia, and I do believe the sport is growing there–from what I hear…we know one player who was sent to your country before he reported to spring training here. Hopefully this is a sign of something good for the future. Talent lurks everywhere. My son is a fan of Grant Balfour, an Australian pitcher, so you’re making an impression in the states. 🙂 And don’t you have Australian Rules Football? We catch that on television, and that looks anything but boring! 🙂
Thanks so much for commenting, Adriana!!
I am jealous – wife of a baseball physician. You get to go to games. I am a Red Sox fan and there is nothing like Fenway Park! The atmosphere there is like no where else. I have been to games in Tampa and Philly but Fenway is unique. The other thing I love about baseball I can sit and watch a game with my boys and we enjoy it together. Best wishes with you both!
Lynne, he’s got a pretty good gig, that’s for sure. I’ve been making fun of him since he got home from spring training because he has chapped lips from the sun and it’s so cold here. lol. Poor baby! Like he has room to complain. 😉 And yes, I do get to go to games. I love sitting alone while he’s busy. (Some people find that strange, but I’d go with or without him–I’m that big a fan.)
Fenway is a dream trip for me. I’d love to get there. Absolutely legendary. You are so blessed to have experienced it firsthand–and with your boys. Enjoy every minute. Thanks for stopping by!
Once again, a big thank you to Toni for having me. And an even bigger thank you to all of you. You made my release day feel extra special. 🙂 I’m going to be picking a winner with the help of random.org tomorrow morning (3/27/2013, EST), so there’s still time for comments if anyone wanders in. Also, don’t forget to enter my contest for a $100 gift card. http://elleyarden.com/#!/contests-and-giveaways/
Love this post. I am a baseball fan too. My favorite thing about the game has been watching my boys grow up playing from instructional through senior division. There is no place I’d rather be on a warm summer day (or night) than at the field watching my boys. I even learned how to score the games. I completely agree with watching the grounds crew. It really is crazy just how much work goes into it.
Joelle, thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Our lives sound similar in regard to baseball and our kids. I’m impressed you learned to score. It’s no easy feat. 🙂 Good for you!
What’s not to love about baseball! I’m a huge tigers fan!!!! Opening day in Detroit is in nine days!!!! My younger brother is currently on a full ride baseball scholarship in the states ( we are from Canada) and seeing first hand the hard work and dedication it takes to obtain and maintain his scholarship. It really gives me an appreciation of the journeys that players have made to get to where they are. I really love the excitement of a hotbox or a pickoff!!! Ohhh I can’t wait for ball season<3
Nikki, I’ve enjoyed watching Detroit these last few years–I’m a big Fielder fan. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and congratulations to your brother!
A winner has been chosen. I’m waiting to hear back from Toni on something, and then I’ll make the announcement. 🙂
And the winner is…Rosemarie. 🙂 She has already been contacted and awarded.
Thanks again, ladies! It was a blast. I hope you’ll take in some baseball this season and think of me.
There are absolutely lots of details like that to take into consideration. That’s a fantastic point to bring up. I provide the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly you will find questions like the 1 you bring up where by far the most necessary thing will likely be working in honest excellent faith. I don?t know if top practices have emerged around items like that, but I’m sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls really feel the impact of just a moment’s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.