Can you hear that? I don’t know about you, but I can hear the sounds of yellow birch on cowhide. Can you smell that? I can smell the freshly cut, highly maintained grass that every father wishes he had in his front yard. Can you taste that? I can taste a classic frank with a side of infamously overpriced waffle fries. Can you feel that? I can feel the hot sun and my seat working in tandem to slowly bake me alive. Can you see that? I can see the excitement on a child’s face when they get a foul ball while all of the kids in the surrounding area angrily pout for two more hours.

It’s time to play ball. Baseball is here and it won’t go away until you get your fill of diving catches, crushed balls and dancing mascots.

For baseball fans around the world, winter is an evil time. Instead of a stadium covered with green grass and fans cheering and booing with their ballpark franks in one hand and foam finger on the other, the stadium becomes just another abandoned structure ridden with snow and ice. But the snow has melted and the flowers are blooming, marking the start of America’s pastime.

This year had an especially pleasant introduction to it when the Tampa Bay Rays, before opening day in the states, traveled across the Straits of Florida to a country known for producing some of the best baseball players in the world. The high-quality performance that both teams displayed in Havana, Cuba, went down in the history books as a landmark game. It was an inspiring spectacle enjoyed all over the world.

But now, the season has started and the players and fans mean business. For a grueling 162 games, balls are going to be flying and people are going to be enjoying every minute of it. I often think playing 162 games is almost too much to handle, plus the games in October, if you get there. If I were playing in the postseason, about one-tenth of 1% of me would want to win and move on, but the other 99.9% of me would say, “Strike me out and end it, already, so I can go on vacation!”

For a large number of you out there, many say it is too slow and little action takes place. But in a sport that has a 90-mile-an-hour ball being thrown with every play, speed is the last scientific concept on my mind.

Also, I should include that going to a baseball game is an “enjoy at your own risk” situation. You can be the happiest person in the park and all of a sudden you see an object hurtling towards you, it’s moving fast and you wonder what that is and then it hits you, literally. I’m glad they put a net behind home plate because if they didn’t, those would suddenly be the cheapest seats in the stadium for a change.

But after all the snow and cold weather, it’s back and in full swing. You don’t even have to go far to see a good game of baseball. Right here in our town, the Warrior team is ready to take on any curveball that gets thrown their way. I’ll admit it’s not professional level, but it’s no casual game of catch in the backyard either. So sit back, relax, and play ball.


Christian Lovallo is a senior at Wilton High School. He shares this column with four classmates.