The Crack of the Bat


The sound of the bat connecting with a home run ball is like no other. The POP is clear and definitive; the ball is saying, “You did the work, now I’m flying OUTTA HERE!” Ryan Howard connected for a two run blast to the opposite field during the exhibition game opening the 2010 season at Citizens Bank Park. The ball sailed high and long landing well into the crowd in section 144.

Up until that home run, we saw Placido Polanco (welcome back!) slam a double to center. Jimmy Rollins started the game with a double. Later, Kyle Kendrick (getting his chance to start during the season) slammed a double to left shocking Pittsburgh.  Oh my, it’s time for Phillies baseball. Our section buddies in 134, Janet, Roger, John, Betsy and a few others were all like kids at their very first game. Being back at the ballpark after such a rough winter with snow up to our ears, is so rejuvenating. My son and I cheered every hit, reveled in strikeouts, got mildly annoyed when Cole Hamels lost his mojo for a moment and gave up three runs on five hits. No matter – it’s a 162 game season – 81 games at home; I’ll be there for about 15 of them and watching or listening to most of the other games.

After the last two seasons, Phillies baseball has brought out the best in the sport when it comes to family and friends. Seeing dads and young sons sitting together with their gloves ready to catch that wayward foul and moms dressing their new babies in teeny-tiny Phillies outfits and watching the seniors who’ve been coming to games since before Veterans Stadium, 43,000 + people will gather for 81 games at the ballpark; we’ll win – we’ll lose. But just like that unmistakable sound that home run ball makes coming off the bat, people will revel in another Phillies season.

“Field of Dreams” –

Ray, people will come, Ray… They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game, and it’ll be as if they’d dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick, they’ll have to brush them away from their faces..The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Ohhhhhhhh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.

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