In his esssay, “In the Green Fields of the Mind,” the former baseball comissioner, Yale President and classics professor, Bart Giamatti, wrote that the game of baseball is designed to “break your heart.” While its beginning in the Spring is filled with hope and promise, the early evenings and short sunshine of fall leaves the baseball fan to cling to summer as desperately as leaves dangling from the maples. The reality of autumn set it for me this morning, on this beautifully warm Minnesota October day, as the Twins face elimination at the steady hands of the infamous New York Yankees. And I realize, yet again, how much of my daily rhythms I placed at the hands of a game, silly and fleeting though it may be. And I know, as I have known every year, that whether it be this afternoon or a few weeks from today, even if they end the season the champions of the world, the season will end. And it will end soon.
I really am smarter than this, I like to believe. Summer truly ended for me not on the equinox, but on the day after labor day with the return of the academic year. In a way its a little difficult to have baseball continue into the school year: you spend the evenings pretending it’s summer through the fuzz of the transitor radio while, during the day, leaves turn golden and midterms approach. My husband once said that school should not begin until your team is done for the season, but I think that would be a little too much finality for anyone to take. At least with the season stretching into (and sometimes past) September, we are allowed to slowly give up the ghost of summer and accept the approaching winter ahead.
So, I am trying to decide if I will watch the game, knowing that I surely will amble downstairs away from the work I should do and let myself be hopeful again — hopeful that we will win and hopeful that we will have one more stay in those “green fields” before they are covered with the reality of a summer past. I know there will be changes and goodbyes to names that I have sat, fingers crossed, thinking the ball over the wall for. And although it’s dangerous for me to be so delusional about the passing of a season and the impending reality of winter and, gulp, no baseball, I will watch; I will cheer; I will hope and believe, knowing that with every moment that grows closer to our end brings us one day closer to that wonderful day in February when pitchers and catchers report for Spring training. And the voices on the radio, tinged with anxiety will ring hopeful once again from Ft. Meyers at Spring . So, go Twins — win another one to keep October green just one more day.Posted by roth0042 at October 9, 2004 4:02 PM