A tip of the cap to this season

The season is over for us but the good words roll on, starting with this primo slice of my buddy Prime that I am moving to the front page to house your Monday thoughts and comments about the passing of summer into fall and how you feel putting baseball to bed for the winter.  Thanks OP and enjoy, everyone.  --EN



A few words about the passing of the season...

Seems almost sacrilegious not to note this spot, this moment, like when I was 4 years old and my puppy met an early demise. My mom bought a small juniper tree and we planted it over the spot where we buried the puppy. Hell, I can't remember the puppy's name, I was only 4. But I remember that moment.

A couple of weeks ago, I traveled to L.A. on business, but left some extra time to go to the old neighborhood, where my love of baseball began. It was all different and all the same. Standing in the very spot where I would hit pitches from my neighborhood friends, the years came flooding back. It was here that I learned the game, the game that I love, that I still play, in my head, in my heart. And it was here where a team of misfits and rabble-rousers in garish green and white and gold uniforms captured my 6 yr old imagination. Names like Blue Moon Odom, Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers...larger than life.

Standing in front of the old house where many good and not so good memories took place for me, one feature stands out; the 25' juniper growing in the corner of the backyard where little 4 yr old hands patted the earth around the roots 40 years ago.

Every year we come to this moment, the final curtain, that last crack of the bat, thwap of the ball in leather. The end of all our hopes and desires in one final at bat, one final pitch. Then it fades to black. The players go home, the fans shuffle out, and life goes back to "normal".  It is all reduced to stats on the back of a card.

So, it's just a game, right? Baseball will never be "just a game" for me. It has been my constant companion, the one familiar in a life of uncertainties. Every year I can count on the springtime, the air warming up, and the call to pitchers and catchers. Like the rise and fall of the sun and moon, baseball has kept the time of my life. And today, this day, the last day of our season, never gets easier.

Just like the 4 yr old that stood over and marked that spot so many years ago, I wanted to mark the passing of another season here, now, with these thoughts. And with renewed hopes for the next time around. Hopefully, the saplings planted this season will grow into the strong pillars that carry us to the promised land next season. One can only hope.

But for now, I bid this season a fond farewell, a tip of the cap. Thank you. See you next year.