This is not a War story. Today is opening day; baseball is back. Below, a decent photo (if I say so myself, but then it wasn't the current anticamera) from early spring last year at Yankee stadium. Since I was corresponding earlier today with a reader from Murmansk (!), quite possibly many reading this are not baseball fans, for which my sympathy.
This is April sometime (see all the empty seats) in the Bronx last year against the Twins; El Duque is delivering and if you enlarge that picture you'll be able to see the ball. Unfortunately, Hernandez didn't have his good stuff and got smacked upside the head for ten early-inning runs; the Yanks nearly but not quite managed a come-back. I prefer the Mets anyhow; one of the most beautiful things you'll ever see is a sunset at Shea stadium with the planes heading into LaGuardia drifting like thistledown through the sky over the outfield.
I'm not sure baseball is the ultimate sport; basketball wins for sheer in-yo-face action, soccer for the sense of occasion, hockey on a good night for flashing speed and pounding impact.
And life is not all sports; the best way to spend a summer afternoon is in bed with your sweetie. Having said that, an afternoon leaning back in the sun at a nice ballpark with a cold beer and a decent hot dog and some good baseball is not to be sneezed at.
And late-season ball, where every pitch - every bounce, every blade of grass - matters, has a bated-breath intensity that may not be equaled in any other sport.
We have the good fortune to live in Vancouver ten blocks from Nat Bailey stadium (seriously, check this link out), a 1951-vintage slightly shoddy jewel where they play (very) minor-league baseball. Since we're way up at 49.5°N, it stays light most of the way through a 7:30PM game, and if you leave early because the little guy's getting tired, you get to soak up the routinely-fabulous Vancouver sunset on the way home.
Trust me, this is a major addition to the Quality Of Life.