The Baseball Diamond
Many people don't understand the point in playing baseball. Why would someone swing a stick, hit a ball, and try to get back to where they started before the ball returns? What pleasure is there in that? Why not participate in a sport like wrestling or track where there is an obvious level of individual improvement and therefore pleasure. Well, I play baseball because of the love I have for the sport, and because of the feeling that overwhelms me every time I walk onto a baseball field. When I walk onto a field I am given the desire to better myself not only as an athlete, but also as a person. The thoughts and feelings I get drive me to work hard towards my goals and to be a better person. The most relevant example of these feelings is when I stepped on the field at Runyon Complex in Pueblo, Colorado during our high school state playoffs in 2003. This baseball field will always be an important place to me.
It was two hours before our anticipated game against Manitou Springs, the second ranked team in the state. As I walked through the brick arches I heard nothing but honking traffic from blocks away. I got an eerie feeling when I saw all the smoke coming out of industrial factories, and noticed that no one else was there; I felt like I was in a ghost town. Our team started to go on to the field that we would be playing on to observe the differences in it. As I walked through the gate leading to the field, I was awestruck. It seemed as though this field was the only place in this strange neighborhood privileged enough to receive light from the blazing sun; standing on the field made it seem as though the creepy town had disappeared. The feeling overwhelmed me as I saw the flawless grass outfield and the perfectly straight baselines; I even began day-dreaming about playing baseball after high school. It looked like a professional field; it had a huge green fence just like the green giant in big league fields, and a perfectly cut grass infield with sod cut out around the bases. I walked behind home plate and stopped to notice how far the fence was from the plate. "400 feet to center field, that is a shot," I said to myself. The outfield was awesome; it was flat and the green grass was cut like a golf course, and not to mention, the largest one I had ever seen.
My breakfast started to creep back up my throat as game time got closer and closer. I walked across the patch of grass behind home plate and was towered over by the 30 foot backstop with a huge net suspended from it. My bulging bag of equipment was beginning to make my shoulder hang. I walked down the steps into the cement dugout and placed my bag under the bench that spanned the entire length of the dugout. I sat down, laced up my cleats, and put my warm-up jacket on in preparation for batting practice. I stepped onto the grass surrounding the dugout to get the feeling of how wet the grass was. I dug my cleats into the grass and began my usual routine of taking...