This online reproduction of an actual conversation is the Bull Durham of online reproductions of actual conversations. No, the A League of Their Own. No, that other Kevin Costner movie about a pitcher retiring with a perfect game, when really it’s about a relationship the whole time.
The point is, if you’re a family that enjoys the game, this conversation is for you. Is baseball art? Is it ballet?
Here’s the kicker: Can you actually enjoy it — I mean really come to love it as an adult — without spending a childhood watching it with your dad?
It covers all topics. It’s a beauty.
Of course, it’s a little flawed.
Of course you can grow up to enjoy baseball without spending a childhood watching it with your dad. How many pro ballplayers were raised by single moms, I wonder? My wife is a baseball nut (thanks to her dad, for the record), but if our daughter learns anything about the finer points of the game — the squeeze plays, the in-field fly rules, the double switches — she’s learning them from her mother.
Now, I love to watch baseball and play baseball and play baseball with my daughter, but my wife is the real baseball encyclopedia in our house, and she’s dutifully passing along the information and the nuances of how to really play, and appreciate, America’s past time. Baseball is the great family uniter, at least in our house.
I, on the other hand, picked up my love of the game from my dad, and although I haven’t spoken to him in a long, long time, I appreciate the time he spent in the backyard, having a catch. Jesus, this is quickly turning into yet another Kevin Costner baseball movie. You know the one.
Check out this conversation about the game and let me know: Do you need a dad to really love baseball?
Mike Adamick writes at Cry It Out!