Making my ‘pitch’ for baseball to get here

Published 11:24 pm Thursday, January 22, 2009

By Staff
Commentary by KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
I’m waiting to hear those two special words.
No, not ‘swimsuit edition,’ as in Sports Illustrated’s yearly look at the “grueling” athletic world of those bikini models.
While some of those models could end up wearing diamond bikinis (I’ll do my journalist duty and check on that for ya), the words I want to hear revolve around the diamond.
I’m anxious for baseball season to get here.
Baseball has always been “my” sport. Ever since I used to pray for walks instead of strikeouts while not lifting the bat off my shoulder during my “glory-filled” Little League days, I’ve enjoyed everything about the game.
Sure, I may have struggled with the bat as a youngster. But I hit a clean .667 during one American Legion season. (Okay, truth be told, I went 2-for-3 that season and one hit was an excuse-me-check-swing that plopped just beyond the second baseman into shallow center field.)
Maybe it’s this dreadful weather. I don’t want snow on the baseball fields. I want players running around in the dirt.
Sliding and scooping and screaming — not shoveling.
I’m excited to sit in the pressbox at Futrell Field. The aroma of hamburgers and hot dogs wafting up from the grills below.
The crack of the bat.
That sweet, sweet smell of rawhide from a newly-opened box of baseball.
That welcome-home feeling of strapping on a baseball glove.
I’m counting down the days to sit in the friendly confines of Clark-LeClair Stadium, home of the East Carolina Pirates. Fans walking around in shorts and flip-flops, the only attire you need besides a ballcap and sunglasses.
And the music. Oh, please turn up the music.
I long for Sweet Caroline…
But then I know it’s growing strong
Oh, wasn't the spring, whooo
And spring became the summer
Who’d believe you’d come along
Hands, touching hands, reaching out
Touching me, touching you
Oh, sweet Caroline… BAA BAA BAA
Good times never seem so good
I’ve been inclined to believe it never would”
When just about everybody in the stadium joins forces on that powerful “Baa, baa, baa,” you know you’re in for a good day.
But, really, can you have a bad day at the ballpark?
ECU’s first practice is Feb. 1. The Washington Pam Pack hits the field Feb. 16.
Yep, I’ve got those dates circled.
Pretty soon the waiting will be over, and I’ll hear those two special words:
Play ball!
Kevin Travis is the Sports Editor of the Washington Daily News. You may reach him at 940-4217, or by e-mail at