My Dad and I made our annual trek up to Denver to watch the Mets play the Rockies yesterday. Good game. Extra innings. The wrong team won, but baseball is not always about winning. It's about the slow and steady cadence of the game, balls and strikes and outs and innings. The cycling through of the batting orders, one through nine and back again. It's about discussing the game with the people around you, regardless of what jersey they are wearing. It's about the almost mystical recurrence of the number three, and multiples of three, throughout the game. And the gravity and mystique given to other numbers, made famous by uniforms and record books and decades of fans: 7, 42, 61, 511. 60 feet, 6 inches.
And I'm pretty sure baseball is the only sport where everyone stands up and sings together in the middle of the game. Sure, most sporting events begin with everyone taking off their hats and being led through the national anthem. But few sing. Almost everyone sings Take Me Out to the Ballgame. And there's no leader. We do it ourselves.