The View From Down Here: Take me out to the ball game

These last few weeks being stuck indoors with no sports to fill my time have been pretty lonely, so let’s all think back to simpler times when we weren’t confined to our homes and there wasn’t a global pandemic threatening our lives.

Normally during this time, I’d be spending just about every evening at a softball or baseball field covering our local teams. I would have my camera in hand and stand (at a safe distance) from first base or behind home plate and shoot some photos while enjoying a game of softball or baseball.

I’ve got to say, I sure do miss that.

With the MLB season being pushed back to at least mid-May, we can’t even catch a game or two on television, so I’m left to just look back at some of my favorite memories of baseball season.

My family is and has always been a huge sports family—mostly Kentucky football and basketball but when those weren’t in season, the Cincinnati Reds were our go-to team for baseball season.

Before my sports writing days, I would’ve likely been spending this time watching the Cincinnati Reds with my dad on my television screen or, every so often, we would travel up to Cincinnati to watch the Reds in person.

My absolute favorite thing about spring wasn’t the warmer weather or the fact that I could break out my flip flops, it was always baseball season and making plans with my family to catch a Reds game.

My family likes to do everything together and by family, I don’t just mean my parents and sister, I also mean my aunts, uncles and cousins.

We would find basically the cheapest seats you could find or look for those big group deals, pack into our vehicles like sardines and make the trip up to Cincinnati where we would take up an entire row at the Great American Ball Park.

I loved everything about going to these games—the atmosphere, the Friday night fireworks, the games played in between innings and it wasn’t a trip to the Great American Ball Park if you didn’t eat Skyline—I mean, hello, “it’s Skyline time.”

Though we’ve all grown up now and many of my cousins have moved away, coming together for a Cincinnati Reds game is something we’ve still managed to do every so often.

The last time we went to a Reds game together was about three years ago and that was when I got to take my husband to his first-ever MLB game and I think I was more excited than he was. I was grinning from ear to ear as we went through the gates and saw his face light up like mine did when I went to my first game.

That day, we sat way out in the outfield and my family was taking up the entire row of seats like usual and it was hot—so hot that we spent most of the game under one those mist fans.

And you know, I don’t even remember if the Reds won or lost that day but it didn’t even matter because boy, was that a good day and definitely one of my favorite baseball memories to this day.

I’ve thought a lot about that day since I learned that the MLB would be postponing their season.

It breaks my heart that kids may not have that same opportunity this year that I had growing up or that my husband had when he attended his first MLB game and I certainly won’t take another experience like that for granted.

I think that we all need to think like that going forward. I truly don’t think I’ll take going to a baseball game or doing my normal, every day job for granted again. And if for some reason I do, I hope one of you will remind me of this because I don’t ever want to take anything in my life for granted again.

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