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Here in the Chicago area, we take America’s favorite pastime pretty darn seriously. There are no fans anywhere in the world like Chicago baseball fans, right? We tend to see things in black and white….or in some cases blue and red…but hardly ever a combination thereof. The new Chicago Dogs’ website cites that we’re a city of more than 5 million fans dating back to the mid-1800’s.
My husband was a diehard Cubs fan. For real. He had an entire room of the house decorated with Cubs memorabilia, and when they were promoting the personalized paver bricks at Wrigley Field, he was one of the first to have one!
I’m sure that among my kids’ favorite memories with their dad while growing up, was going to Cubs games. And it was a tradition passed along to my grandchildren as well, who loved hanging out with Grandpa in the bleachers!
I’ve thought a lot about why baseball is such a big deal. Maybe the secret is in its intrinsic simplicity and accessibility. The equipment is pretty basic—a wooden bat, a ball, and a few bases. There’s absolutely nothing about baseball that is high-tech or showy.
And then there’s the accessibility of the game. T-ball is often the first team sport in which a youngster participates, and it seems like we all played and enjoyed watching baseball since grade school. Baseball is a love that transcends age, gender, generation or athletic prowess.
Furthermore, baseball is replete with great traditions…My kids loved bringing a glove to the game just in case they had the chance to catch a fly ball. They loved the seventh inning stretch, ball park hot dogs and when they became old enough, (maybe even a little bit before they were old enough) beer.
And it’s hard not to admire a sport where there’s so much love and respect for its legends…Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle…I’m not much of a sports fan, but even I know these names.
I’m happy that now, in my retirement years, I’ll have the opportunity to continue to enjoy the sport that my husband loved so much! Of course, there’s always the chance to attend Cubs, Sox, Kane County Cougar, and Chicago Dogs games. But more exciting still is the unique relationship that Friendship Village has with the Schaumburg Boomers. For the past several years, we have hosted several young Boomers players who stay with us at the community…they call Friendship Village their home during their season. The infusion of youth within our walls is energizing and fun! Furthermore, the Boomers, in return, have had some special happenings for us during Boomers games.
And about America’s favorite pastime, I think Micah Chen of BleacherReport.com captured the essence of baseball best. “Baseball is in every way perfect; there are no flaws in the sport. Everything flows together perfectly. It is built around God's favorite shape, a diamond, and the rest is covered by the most incredible grass on the planet.”