Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Memories of the Games

There’s a unifying theme about the memories of baseball that time can’t deny. It may be the basic foundation that makes the sport so attractive and, despite changes over the years in the way the game is presented — flashing scoreboards, the instant SABR stats available for fans at the park, the intensity of the activity between innings — the heart of the game remains the same.

A friend of mine took his family to St. Louis a few weeks ago to watch a Cardinals baseball game. It was the first game his 9-year-old daughter, a  budding baseball aficionado, had ever gone to and it was the first my friend had been to in years.

He splurged and got seats along the first base side, five rows above the dugout. He said it was like watching the game as a first base coach. The perspective was totally different than from watching on television, which presents the game, mostly, from a centerfield camera.

His wife took photographs on her digital camera and he shot video of the game. He captured San Diego Padres’ outfielder Will Venable hitting a leadoff home run on the second pitch of the game and he had video of a great stop of a hard grounder that Cardinals’ shortstop Rafael Furcal made. He also had close-ups of his favorite player, reliever Jason Motte.

His memories were preserved, albeit digitally, for generations to come on his computer.

Eighty years ago, his uncle went to a Cardinals’ game and captured memories as well. In 1932, the uncle saw the Cardinals host the Cubs on Aug. 13. We know this because my friend still has the scorecard his uncle filled out in pencil. Listed in capital letters that were printed meticulously eight decades ago were names like Frankie Frisch, James “Ripper” Collins, Ernie Orsatti and Cubs pitcher Charlie Root. Root, fans may remember, was on the mound some two months later when Babe Ruth supposedly pointed to the outfield and then whacked his home run.

Two games. Two sets of memories. 

My friend’s game saved by converting digital images into electronic impulses to be viewed on a computer screen. His uncle’s game saved in blocky pencil-written print.

But there was the interlocking point of it all. My friend brought back a packet of things from the game to show me. He had an All-Star ballot, game stats that were inserted into the program and an unblemished scorecard for the game.

He said he’d fill the scorecard out later, after he checked the game on the internet.

1 comment:

  1. Just found your blog through the APBA facebook page. You are an excellent writer. Good luck on a speedy recovery.