A Brilliant and All-American Documentary
March 26, 2013 Leave a comment
It’s snowing outside the coffee shop right now as I write this. March is just struggling to hang in there, and determined to go out leaving a legacy of the coldest March Louisville has seen in quite some time. (And yet, I still slurp on my ice-cold frappuccino because I couldn’t do a hot drink even if I were sinking with the Titanic.)
It’s snowing in late March. And despite that, baseball charges forward.
In just a few days, Robin’s words will seem almost prophetic: “Crackerjacks, Batman!”
Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks.
Come March 31, the MLB will make its grand 2013 appearance.
The corn will be popping,
The Thwack of ball on glove will soon be heard by young Major League hopefuls,
The infield grass, whether laden with snow or not, will be mowed to code,
Freshly pressed uniforms will be donned for the first time since October.
And Ray Charles will echo the dazzling fizzes and pops of fireworks against star-lit nights with “God Bless America.”
Even though Sarabeth doesn’t celebrate America’s true pastime in her heart like I do, she still is gracious enough to tolerate my obsessiveness. I don’t follow any team in particular, and I don’t even keep up with the latest scores or modern-day greats, but I follow the history of baseball.
I love reading about the longest game ever played, learning about the scandals, and seeing how pop-culture icons can still use the game to re-spark a general interest in it by the public by telling freshly spun stories surrounding the game and how it relates to life.
I love baseball of old.
That’s why I’m recommending Ken Burns’ documentary simply entitled, Baseball.
It’s a ten-part series, each episode two hours in length, and available to watch on Netflix Instant Watch.
Ken Burns literally picks the story up well before Baseball was even called that – Cricket, rounders, bat ball, ball, base-ball, baseball. The documentary tells about the game bringing Confederates and Unionists together during the Civil War, and early-day entrepreneurs attempting to introduce the game to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and England where it was denounced as “Just a fancy form of the otherwise deplorable and infantile sport, rounders.”
It’s hard for me not to get choked up during the National Anthem being sung before a perfectly-cut diamond set in a bright green field.
Even though you’re covered in snow in this part of the country, welcome, Spring. Welcome. Curse us with your snow, but we will still lick cotton candy off our fingers, paint our hot dogs with red and yellow, and dress our burgers up with all the gifts that spring farms bring – freshly cut tomatoes, crisp lettuce, crunchy onions.
If, for some reason, you can’t make it to a game this summer, gather around the TV and watch history unfold on the baseball field, in the dugout, in the ticket booth, and in some of the greatest stadiums ever built upon this free land.
Check out Ken Burns’ Baseball. And relive America’s greatest pastime with those you love.