(DiamondNation.com’s content editor Bob Behre has covered amateur baseball since 1977. While he misses the game dearly, he reminds us of the daily joys of the game we long for and know in our hearts will be back as the weather warms).
It can be a very difficult time to count our blessings. It’s easier to lean toward the negative and sad whether you are a player, coach or someone who operates on the periphery of the sport, like me, a writer.
As we march slowly through what can seem like empty days, onward toward a day when the sun will shine again on our faces as we stand on a baseball or softball diamond, patience and optimism should be our friend.
As athletes, you are taught to prepare for adversity and expect circumstances out of your control to alter your game plan. You know your plans will be put to a test, every day, often scrambled or short-circuited. That’s how athletes are built.
Death and debilitating illness certainly were not part of the equation of challenges our coaches laid out for us during their wide ranging tutelage. Our challenges as ballplayers more likely center on overcoming mistakes on the field, sudden injury, heartbreaking losses and outdueling our own mental challenges with our wavering confidence.
But we will be back. Our bigger challenges will soon revert to such things as being in an 0-2 hole or trying to battle through a game without our best fastball. Maybe we should make a list of what we miss and what we can’t wait to see and experience again. Perhaps it will remind of us how great those experiences are and why we should so fully embrace them when they re-enter our lives.
Here are a few things I look forward to every day:
*A warm spring morning when I know I have a game to cover in the afternoon.
*Talking to both coaches before the game.
*Keeping a scorebook and taking game notes.
*Commiserating with other reporters.
*Interviewing players after the game.
*Talking to both coaches after the game.
*Watching a pitcher dominate.
*Watching a hitter dominate.
*A clutch hit by the No. 9 hitter.
*A perfect relay from the outfield.
*A great pickoff move.
*A catcher who owns the game.
*An outfielder chasing down a fly ball at the wall or in the gap.
*A great call by an umpire.
*A terrible call by an umpire.
*A coach getting red hot at an umpire.
*An umpire not taking any garbage.
*Talking to the umpires.
*A double play turned neatly at second base.
*A shortstop racing into the hole and gunning down the runner at first base.
*An outfielder firing to the plate to gun down a runner trying to score from second.
*A bench, fully engaged, cheering the batter on.
*A late rally.
*The look on the face of a player who plays hero for the first time.
*A dog pile.