Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Don't we all need High Hopes?

Ahhh there it is. My favorite, Harry Kalas, singing our song. A voice, that as a lifelong Phillies fan, I still miss to this day. Here we are again, another Red October for the Phillies and I couldn't be more excited. But see, I was excited back in April for the first game too. Just as a part of me is sad that the regular season is over. One of my favorite baseball quotes, and there are a lot of them , is: 

"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball.  I'll tell you what I do.  I stare out the window and wait for spring." ~Rogers Hornsby

And that's how I feel. From growing up surrounded by ball, my brother in little league, me in softball, it's always been a huge part of my life. I remember so many good things, wrapped up in a baseball time of my life. My first love, at the age of 7 or 8, I met on the fields at Monument avenue. He was my constant all thru jr and sr high. Meeting another important boy in my life while I was a sophmore GVHS baseball manager for the team. My parents best friends as we grew up - the Hiems, The Gallaghers... all met thru baseball. My Great-Grandmother listening to the games on the radio up until the time she passed. 

I remember Hank Aaron hitting #715. Tug McGraw , and "Ya gotta believe" in the 1980 series. Cutting school and going to the parade in Philly singing "We love you Tugger" as he stopped the parade to hears us and appreciate us and salutes us with, I believe, a bottle of Jack Daniels he had under his seat on the float. Cal Ripken and my first visit to  Camden Yards. What an amazing stadium that was and is... I love that Citizens Bank was somewhat modeled after it. 

The Sosa/McGuire Homerun battle, that brought so many back to baseball after the awful strike, when we had all lost a bit of that childish exuberance about the game. Sammy and Marc gave us back the gleam in our eyes and helped us forgive them all for taking it away from us the years before.

To me, baseball is like that cozy blanket on a cold morning or that feeling you get in your belly on Christmas eve... The feeling of comfort and warmth, childlike wonder and adult anticipation. It's all good things rolled into one. A game with 9 innings, 3 strikes to an out, 3 outs to a team and when a ball goes over the fence into the stands(between the yellow poles), it's a home run! Predictability and hotdogs and beer, the 7th inning stretch and Harry singing High Hopes. Red Shirts and a green Phanatic dancing on the dugout...Always the same but always different. Never boring but always following the basic rules.

"The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come." ~Field of Dreams 

I will miss it when it's winter, but winter's a long ways away. For now - it's Red October. Lack of sleep from late night games and hoarse voices from cheering our boys on to World series victory is what October means.  No other sports really matter for the next 3 weeks and all we want is another parade down Broad for our Phightins.  Red October... when everyone's full of  pennant fever and High Hopes. Let's Go Phillies... this one's for Harry!

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry I wasn't following you when this was originally posted. I had to skip the video at the beginning...hearing Harry always makes me cry now. I still can't believe I watch the Phils without listeing to Harry...it still feels so wrong.

    Here is to a great season next year. I was so sad to see their championship run fall short this year, but there was no way we could take on Texas without our bats. :-(