August 4, 2016

Typed in Popeye mode

I have the MLB app for my phone. This allows me to hear the radio broadcasts of my beloved Cubs.  It also gives me access to the radio broadcast of every major league game.

I confess I would rather listen to a baseball broadcast than watch it on TV. It is easy to see why baseball reached its peak popularity in the radio age. The subtle shifts, the movement of the fielders based on the count and the pitch sign create a tiny ballet that cannot be captured on the tiny screen. The real action is in the pitch-hit and that is where the cameras focus. On the radio the slow pace allows a good announcer to describe the scene in detail. The non-action moments cry to be filled with stats and averages, creating and full filling baseball's insatiable desire for minutiae.

It is no wonder football is king in the television age. The concentrated action and frequent stoppages in play coupled with a time clock makes the game perfect for the television. commercials can be aired regularly, pretty much on schedule. An inning may last two minutes or twenty. We know exactly how long a quarter will last.

Perhaps I love baseball because I played  it a lot in my youth. I was never any good at it, but e still played endless games in the summer heat. two people can play a game of Whiffle ball in the backyard, tracking ghost runners and score. You can't do that with a football.

I have listened to a lot of baseball in the dark over the past few weeks. I fell asleep listening to the late innings of a west coast game last night. The crack of the bat, the pop of leather, the roar of the crowd was a timeless image of an America I never knew. I could have been my grandpa listening the crackle of WGN in 1925' or my Dad listening to a game in 1950,

That gives me comfort.


Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

"The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again."

Joe said...


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