Archive for February 15th, 2023

Forever Young

GC Myers- Neighborhood Heart sm

Neighborhood Heart— At the Principle Gallery, Alexandria

Since baseball time is measured only in outs, all you have to do is succeed utterly; keep hitting, keep the rally alive, and you have defeated time. You remain forever young.

–Roger Angell, Once More Around the Park: A Baseball Reader

Temperatures are supposed to be in the mid 60’s here today. While I am concerned about the reasons and ramifications of our temps being 30+ degrees above the norm, I am happy to enjoy the warmth. It feels springlike and adds to the sensation of pleasure I feel now that baseball’s Spring Training has begun.

And that means that another season of the game is not far away.

Another long season of highs and lows. Another season of exciting victories and crushing losses, of sparkling plays and dreadful errors in the field. The thrill of the long arc of the home run or the wall-climbing catch that robs the batter of his homer. Another season of the cat-and-mouse game that is played out between the pitcher and the batter.

Another year of daily checking of the stats for each player, trying to find traces of an accomplishment that will put their names in the record book alongside those well-worn names from past eras– the Babe Ruths and Hank Aarons, the Cy Youngs and the Bob Gibsons.

And another season of daily checking of the standings, trying to gauge whether your team still has a chance to defeat time, as the great baseball writer Roger Angell put it at the top. While writing about how the time in baseball is what differentiates from other games, Angell also speaks to its connection to the history, players, and rhythm of the past.

Baseball’s time is seamless and invisible, a bubble within which players move at exactly the same pace and rhythms as all their predecessors. This is the way the game was played in our youth and in our fathers’ youth, and even back then… there must have been the same feeling that time could be stopped.

Another season of trying to stay forever young. At a time when the world constantly reminds me of slowly diminishing physical abilities, that’s an idea I can embrace.

Here’s a lovely performance of the Bob Dylan song, Forever Young, from Joan Baez.

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