I know Americans and probably every nationality is obsessed with sports, and that raises real problems. But I’ve always loved playing baseball when I could see and listening to it, now that I can’t.
When our son was five or six, I learned that I could still hit a ball to him, if I tossed the ball and hit it myself. I couldn’t catch, of course, even beeper balls, but our son put up with me when no one else was available.
For a blind person, baseball is a sane and accessible spectator sport, if one can adjust to listening to it, rather than seeing it. My husband and kids love football and basketball and hockey, but I reserve my affection for baseball.
Tuning into any of the other sports on TV or radio or the computer, the crowd roar absolutely challenges my ears. Even before I became so deaf, those other sports revved me up because of the roar of the crowd and loud, rapid-fire play by play of the commentators—noise pollution that took a toll on my equanimity.
So many fans criticize baseball for being “too slow.” But that is precisely why I like it. Only a few players are involved at a time, and though that puts more visible pressure on the athlete, it gives calm to the game.
And now at the All-star break, the formerly pitiful Pittsburgh Pirates are 11 games above 500 and in first place. After losing 19 seasons in a row, they are winning. Sure they were winning the first half, last year, but not by this much, not by such large victories.
Do I attend many games? Actually, no, just a few a year.
With the Pirates of the past losing streak, giving full attention to the game for 9 innings was too painful. But like the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down, baseball accompanies me while I weed or clean or do other drudgy chores.
But with the major league baseball the Pirates are playing, like most fans, I can show up at more games with hope that the evening will be a great escape. So, cheers for the accessibility of baseball, and go Buccos.