Baseball is not just a sport. It is a roller coaster of emotion that will tear at your very soul if you let it. With each win or loss you find yourself ecstatic or suicidal. I listen to Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson talk about “maintaining an even keel”. I understand what he is saying, I just have no idea who you do that.
It’s not just the games that cause this roller coaster ride. Take this week for an example. The Diamondbacks began their final home stand of the regular season. Before going to the ballpark I remove that day’s game tickets from the folder and put them with my seat cushion to take to the ballpark.
As I opened up the ticket book and tore the first game’s tickets this week I didn’t see another ticket behind them like I had all season. Instead I saw the back cover of the ticket book a reminder that the end was near. I always laughed at those people who predict the end of the world but seeing there were no tickets left in the book it really did feel like the world was ending.
When I tore out that last ticket yesterday it was like tearing away a bit of my heart. It would mean I wouldn’t have another regular season game until April 6, 2012, which is 190 days 1 hour and 25 minutes away. It may as well be an eternity.
Today I made my way down to the mailbox to retrieve the day’s mail. Among the advertisements for new car loans, assorted bills, and grocery ads was an envelope from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Any day you get something in the mail from the Diamondbacks it’s a good day but today was an exceptional day.
I tore open the package and looked inside. The emotion I experienced was something akin to how Charlie felt when he opened that Wonka Bar and saw the last golden ticket. I danced around like Grandpa Joe singing about having a golden ticket. My family stared at me and once again noted the need for “professional help”.
Clearly they didn’t understand the importance. I reached inside the envelope and retrieved the contents holding it up for everyone to see. I held in my hand PLAYOFF TICKETS! About all that was missing was a ray of golden light to descend from heaven and angels to sing. That probably would happened if my wife would have let me put a retractable roof on the house like Chase Field like I suggested.
I touched the tickets and caressed them gently. I brought them to my face and inhaled hoping to get the scent of BOB Sod and Hungry Hill Sausages. Instead it smelled kind of like ink and my grandmother’s dresser drawer but it didn’t matter. I had playoff tickets.
The thoughts of an empty regular season ticket book left my head replaced with clips of 1999, 2001, 2002, and 2007. Visions of dominating pitching and timely hitting danced around my head. There would definitely be joy in the house tonight; the post season tickets are here and life is good.