Before the season began I perused the Diamondbacks schedule imagining what would unfold in each game thinking about what I might see and hear at Chase Field. Each series and each game has the opportunity for greatness and historic significance.
Would this be the day or the game where the Diamondbacks would through their first no-hitter at Chase Field? Could this be the day that Aaron Hill hits for another cycle cementing his place in baseball history? Would this be the day that Mark Trumbo hits the longest home run in Chase Field history? Is it possible that Paul Goldschmidt could make a run at Joe DiMaggio’s hit streak?
When most people look at the calendar they think about days of the week or a rare celebration of an event or holiday. When baseball fans look at the calendar they see each day as a new beginning where anything is possible at any game.
This season’s schedule has the Arizona Diamondbacks playing nine afternoon weekday games. All of these are on getaway day for one team or the other allowing for travel to the next city and the next game without resulting in taking a redeye flight to the next destination.
Maybe it’s because I grew up a Chicago Cubs fan but I love the afternoon games. There is nothing better than walking through the turnstiles of a Major League Baseball stadium and seeing the field basking in the warm glow of the afternoon sun.
While others are toiling away in an office shut out of the natural light I will be in the stands feeling the warmth of the sun with the smell of fresh cut grass permeating the area. It’s as though I have been transported back into my childhood where I would spend the day playing baseball with my friends.
When one game would end you would collapse onto the cool grass at the edge of the outfield. With your baseball glove as a pillow you would close your eyes for a few moments recounting the plays of the game just ended before opening them, gathering what strength you had to play another game.
As kids we spent every moment we could on the baseball field playing the game we loved. The game ended not by inning or score but when mom or dad would call to us that it was time for bed. The next day would see this routine repeated; life was good.
Now as an adult I don’t have the luxury of playing baseball every day or laying on the grass thinking about nothing more than hitting a curve or catching a hot line drive off the bat. Instead I have to worry about providing for my family or whether I will be able to put my kids through college.
So it’s nice to be able to have a few days like these where all I have to think about is baseball. It’s an escape from the stress and trials that we face everyday. This is the healing power of afternoon baseball and we should take advantage of it every chance we get.