This post is the fourth in a nine-part series from Joshua Murray on his reflections on baseball, on his grandfather, and on finding God in every blade of grass. For Part Three, click here.
I remember the day I fell in love with baseball. Not the occasion. But the day.
October 7, 2010.
That was the day.
The October 6th caught my attention and set up the love affair. I was back from work and I was grumpy because my daily routine of coming home from work and laying in bed watching TBS (which is a channel that I didn’t particularly love, but at that time it had a line of TV shows that were good enough that I didn’t have to channel surf at all) had been interrupted by the post season which had just started, so baseball took over that particular station.
I was in bed and dozed off to some other stupid TV show I was settling for. Waking up before dinner, groggy with sleep, I forgot about the baseball games and put on TBS, and as soon as I turned to that channel the noise that came out of my speakers made me jump and fumble with the remote to turn it down. In the background, in the stands, just a sea of white towels being waved like crazy. There was just an electricity that radiated from the game into my bedroom that was just so captivating. Why this electricity? Roy Halladay threw a post-season no hitter. I saw the last few outs. Maybe the last six outs. So it was as exciting as you can get.
Baseball…you have my attention.
October 7, 2010, I tuned on TBS specifically for baseball. Even hoping to see the Phillies again after that no hitter. But instead, and it changed my life, the Giants were on. And on the mound was a small, long-haired kid named Tim Lincecum.
The kid, to me, looked like he threw his first pitch with everything he had in him. It looked like he had one good pitch in him and so he was going to give it all he had. His windup was bizarre. His stride I found out was 107% the length of his body. He looked like he would fall over. And he threw that ball as hard as he could, with all he had. Each pitch as if it was his last…then he did that 118 more times.
It was just amazing to see. He threw a complete game two-hit shutout. On that team in 2010 the team was known as The Misfits. You had Lincecum, the long-haired Freak. You had a handful of rookies, a Rookie of the Year, an MVP, a Kung Fu Panda and some veterans, many of whom were playing their last few games before retiring, and a closer whose beard was long as a gnome’s and died blacker than midnight. They looked like the coach went out into the parking lot and gathered the first group of people he could make a team out of and threw them on the field. It was a blast to watch. They felt real and like people you could touch. People you could bump into on the street and they wouldn’t mind. They were obtainable.
I didn’t fully know it was the post season, so by default my love of the Giants turned me into a front runner, so to speak. A fact I was embarrassed about for awhile, wishing I had a history with the Giants because it felt silly to get so strongly attached to them only to find that they were a heavy contender for the World Series.
But this was the start of this feeling I still have and can’t shake…and that is that baseball is more than it seems.