29 March 2013

Friday's Top Five - Baseball Themed ANYTHING

Baseball season is upon us, and there is no better time to blog my love for this beautiful sport than now. And it's Friday, so what better way than in my semi (when-I-have-time) regular feature, the Friday Five!

This isn't the first time I have posted about baseball. If you have time, go read:
I present to you my top-five baseball themed anything:

5. Baseball memes
Oh peoples of the interwebz. What would I do without you there to amuse me?  Baseball memes are funny. Especially the one's that poke fun at Steve's beloved Mets.
It's funny 'cuz it's true!

4. Baseball movies

I love sports movies. Baseball movies are great because sometimes, they don't always end with an underdog victory, like with football movies. Sometimes the underdog remains the underdog. I walk away inspired anyways.

While I have yet to watch a baseball movie I didn't like, the two that stand out the most for me are A League of Their Own (which deals with women in professional baseball during World War II), and The Sandlot (a fabulous movie that deals with kids playing baseball, narrated in a similar fashion to The Wonder Years). I will watch these movies over and over again.

My favourite song by Madonna: This Used to Be My Playground

3. Baseball (a documentary by Ken Burns)

Ken Burns, a prominent documentary film maker, made a 10 "innings" Baseball documentary, covering every decade of baseball. He seamlessly weaved the story of baseball in the context of what was going on in America (and the world). He featured prominent (and lesser-known) players, fields and actions that would impact the game forever. This documentary changed the way I view baseball, and it gave me a profound appreciation for just how important baseball is the world.

2. Vintage baseball pictures

Baseball is not just men in uniforms playing in the dirt. Baseball is not just an escape from the problems of the world; it is a reflection of the world. Vintage photographs not only conjure up romantic nostalgia. They also, when chronologically placed, reflect real issues in the world.Overcoming adversity in the face of illness, World War II, gender and racial barriers being broken...it's all there. Some issues will always remain (women in professional baseball), but baseball led the way when it came to facing these issues --- whether it wanted to or not.

Lou Gehrig's famous retirement speech after being diagnosed with ALS
Women served in professional baseball during WWII
Jackie Robinson broke racial and colour barriers

Joltin' Joe DiMaggio was just awesome. Plus he served in WW2. But I put this here because he was awesome!

 Center Field by John Fogarty. This song was inducted into the Baseball HOF.

1. Baseball games (MLB, Local, Little League, Beer League, amongst friends)
There is something about attending baseball games, at any level, that is enjoyable. I've attended a New York Yankees game in New York, numerous games at John Ducey Park in Edmonton (Trappers, Edmonton Capitals, whatever the next team, if any, will be). I've watched kids play in little-league with their full hearts. I've watched my dad play in a community beer-league team, just for fun. I've gone to the park simply to play with my friends.
John Ducey Park (a.k.a. Telus Field) in Edmonton
Each time has been nothing but enjoyable. Baseball, even at the MLB level, is one of the cheapest forms of entertainment out there. For less than $20.00 at the semi-professional local level in Edmonton, you can get a ticket, a hot dog, a beer, a pop, and a 50/50 ticket. You sit in the lazy summer sun. You cheer and chat with the people around you. You heckle when heckling is needed. If you really want to get involved, you keep stats. If you don't, you just sit there and watch. It's peaceful and engaging.
This is how I plan on funding my retirement. Baby boo better have a good arm.
And for free, go out and watch a game locally (in your community-league). It's a great sport for kids. It's great for wanna-be kids. It's a great game to play if you just want to go out doors on a lazy summer day.

A great song by Kenny Rogers

I can't wait for the new season, or summer for that matter. Go check out Joanne's awesome list at A Warm Cup of Jo, and I think her husband Steve from Wayward Yankee will contribute as well! 

Play Ball!