Baseball deserves a special place in the American experience. Great cathedrals or stadiums have been built for the sole purpose of playing the game there and for spectators to watch. It is often the thread binding generations.
My father and I talked for hours about baseball and likewise, I with my son. Fathers and sons play pitch and catch and hit grounders and fly balls to one another.
During a pitch and catch session many years ago, I threw a ball to my son that he missed; he had to run after the ball. I watched him. “That’s him,” I said to myself. “That is my son. His eagerness to retrieve that ball will be present in many other things in his life, long after these days?” You see, there are those who would not even play a round of pitch and catch with their father or son. Or, “Leave the ball, Johnny. We’ll get it the next time we play pitch and catch.” That ball will likely be there a century from then.
A good game of pitch and catch is carried on no more than talking distance, one from the other. And that’s what pitch and catch is—talking. Is it the deep lessons of life? Hardly. It’s a man and boy talking.
“Sorry, dad, that was a bad throw.”
“No, I should have got it on the hop.”
If you can’t hear or see at least a half dozen life lesson in that exchange—keep trying.