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It’s baseball season

Sarah O'Connor | Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Last Friday, I witnessed the basketball team lose early in the NCAA tournament in a disappointing last minute loss. After the game, one of the sports writers summed it up best: “Well, it’s baseball season.” I could not agree more. It’s finally baseball season!

It’s the time of year when people on the quads trade their footballs for their mitts and baseballs, when SportsCenter’s Top 10 features diving catches, double plays, and homeruns and when movies like “The Rookie,” “A League of Their Own,” “Field of Dreams” and, my personal favorite, “The Sandlot” seem less ridiculous as choices to watch.

Ever since I can remember, baseball has been a constant in my house. From the early days of T-ball and Little League, my springs and summers were spent at softball games and practices watching my brothers play weekend double headers and night games. We went to morning swim team practice and hung around for hours afterwards to play beach Wiffle ball with over 30 of the neighborhood kids. Afternoons were spent outside playing catch or having homerun derbies in the backyard with tennis balls. Our television seemed to be stuck on WGN and the Chicago Cubs baseball games.

Although I come from Omaha, which has no major league team, I never felt deprived; we had something better, the College World Series. It’s an entire week-and-a-half of baseball at its purest. I have made it to at least one game each year (averaging five or six games a year as I grew older) except for last year since I was more than 4,000 miles away in London. Some of my London friends will even vouch the only downside I had with studying abroad was missing the College World Series, and although I was kidding about that being a reason not to go to London, it does go to show how much love I have for that week and the sport.

From the upper decks of Wrigley to behind home plate at the Metrodome, in 21 years, I have yet to find a bad seat. I love everything about the atmosphere at a baseball game. It has its own sense of excitement stretched out over nine innings, where the crowd can still come together and cheer just as loudly as a football game, but settle down enough for you to actually enjoy the company of those you came with. And despite my love for the sport, more often than not the best moments frequently don’t even include the actual game. There’s the beach balls thrown around between innings, the different variations of team rally caps, the rain delay antics, the celebrity seventh inning stretch and the postgame fireworks. It’s an atmosphere you don’t get at any other sporting event.

This is why, in the middle of class today, my day was made when I realized that I would be working in a city with a professional team this summer. The thought of sitting in the stands, drinking a lemon ice while getting an awesome farmer’s sunburn and watching an actual professional game thrilled me. And although I will be in Cincinnati for the summer, I am already preparing to book my flights home for the weekend of the College World Series so I don’t have to completely miss it again.

As much as I love college football and watching the drama of March Madness…

It’s baseball season.