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A Word to the Wise: Getting in touch with your inner shortstop

By: Tom Rupp, Special to the Telegraph
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We recently went to Raley Field for a baseball game. No, it wasn’t the River Cats, the Oakland Athletics affiliate. Instead, we saw a local high school JV baseball game between Granite Bay and Antelope. Our nephew Jacob played in the game, and although parking cost $8, admission was free. So we got to sit just about at field level. I joked that “today’s attendance was 88,” but that wasn’t very far from the truth. It was OK, though. Watching baseball at this stage in life is all about the game and the fun you can have in playing it, no matter who is or isn’t watching. So there we sat, and after our unseasonably wet winter and early spring, it was a welcome harbinger of days to come to be enjoying the weather. With such a comparatively small crowd it wasn’t difficult to listen to the banter among the spectators. One dad told about his son, who also happened to be the batboy. The boy made a statement to the effect that “I don’t want to grow up; I just want to play baseball.” Have you ever heard something and, although you didn’t say it, you could have said it, and it rings true in your soul? Well, that statement pretty much sums it up for me. You don’t know how much I would have given to have been able to jump the railing and take one at-bat on the manicured field. Even if I had struck out, the pleasure would have been worth the pain. I continued playing slow pitch softball until just a few years ago. It wasn’t the same but it didn’t have to be. Merely being out there taking cuts and fielding grounders is enough. My baseball glove is still in the trunk of the car, just in case. Regrettably, baseball is solely a spectator sport for me these days. The memories are still there, and they resurrect every time I smell the leather and hear the pop of a fastball. I have a few friends who have the misfortune of being New York Yankee fans. I guess I’ll have to find new friends (just kidding, guys). My Baltimore Orioles were in first place for a couple of days and that might be the extent of it. Not to worry. For a couple of hours, sitting there amid blue skies, white clouds, green grass, all seemed right with the world. Life is good. Tom Rupp is a Bible teacher at Capital Bible College. He can be reached at truppfolsom@yahoo.com.