With the marked exception of pollen and other airborne allergens, there isn’t much not to like about spring.
The gray of winter has officially given way to a new season, blessed with a boost in temperature, added sunlight and longer days. A new buzz fills the air, from the arrival of birds and bees to the added number of cars clogging Grand Strand-area roadways.
Certainly, all of the above serve as reasons to be excited about this time of year. But not listed among those is probably one of the activities that most comes to mind, particularly during the spring and summer months – baseball.
Yes, the beautiful marathon has begun anew, a small share of Major League Baseball (MLB) teams throwing their first pitch on Sunday while others will do so on Monday.
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There’s something about baseball that tends to appeal to all the senses – the sound of the ball hitting a catcher’s mitt, the crack of the bat, the view of a stadium at sunset and its glow under the lights, as well as the smell of hot dogs, popcorn and fresh beer. It’s also the fact hope again is renewed; last year’s disappointments and missed opportunities are gone, teams given a clean slate to work with.
But what about teams that achieved their goals?
Well, for clubs like the Kansas City Royals in the big leagues or the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on a local level, it comes down to being selfish. Teams at the top of the heap have something every other team yearns for, the chance to take part in the dog pile in the middle of the diamond, hoist a trophy high above their heads and bathing in a glorious champagne shower.
Definitely, getting to witness your team meet its lofty expectations is a beautiful thing. But it’s also a rare opportunity for fans of the sport – or those simply looking for a brief few hours of leisure and relaxation – to enjoy a night at the ballpark in many of the same ways past generations have.
It truly is a beautiful bliss, one I cannot wait to take part in myself.
Dunno if anyone knows, but college basketball will crown a national champion Monday night, with either Villanova finally vanquishing its reputation as tournament chokers in earning the ultimate prize, or North Carolina adding to its storied basketball history with a sixth national title. The game is scheduled to tip from Houston shortly after 9 p.m. The women’s college basketball championship will be played Tuesday evening. … The Masters gets underway Thursday from Augusta National with its typically star-studded cast of golfers taking aim at the season’s first major championship. While the likes of McIlroy, Spieth, Day and other of the sport’s top guys will be there, one that won’t be is Tiger Woods, announcing he wouldn’t take part in this year’s activities late last week. … Using the break to hone their skills and stay sharp through tournament play, local baseball and softball teams return to the diamond this week, while other spring sports are back from a brief hiatus, returning to competition.