Friday, March 23, 2007

The Best Job in the World

Can there be a better job than being a professional baseball player? They get paid (a lot) to play the game that they have always loved. It is an outdoor job, it lasts 8 to 10 months (depending on how good you are), you get to travel the country, children adore you, and when you are all done you are in relatively good health. Perhaps this is why I get so irritated when I hear players complain about money. I pay (a lot) for the privilege of seeing these talented boys play the game they love. But it's really about more than just the game. I love to people watch at baseball games. I watched this little boy run up and down the concrete steps during a minor league game in Savannah, Georgia. The parents of this little guy were pretty intense on the game and were only about half watching their boy. He was just running up and down, up and down, and I knew he was going to wipe out - and he did. I was at another minor league game and I was sitting behind "Wanda Whitecap", the biggest fan of the local team. She had a jersey with her name on the back and people came up to her all game long to talk to her about her team.

The best baseball I ever saw was in the Cape League. I saw the Chatham A's play in the last, greatest, amateur ball in the country. They play on what amounts to a good high school quality field. There is no admission, one set of bleachers on the first base side, and they play the lights for donations. Public donations keep the league going. These are kids uncorrupted by money or fame. These are kids just playing the game they love, in hopes a scout will see them and draft them into the bigs. That is pure baseball.