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For many people, the sun on their face or sand between their toes defines summer. However, for people such as myself, there is a completely different (and equally satisfying) world of sights, sounds and smells out there that describe summer. I’m talking about the roar of thousands of fans at the crack of a bat, the smell of grilled hot dogs in the air and the most amazing field of perfectly mowed grass you have ever seen. If you haven’t guessed it yet, I am talking about America’s favorite pastime—baseball. While other sports are winding down and coming to a close, baseball and summer have just begun. Summer isn’t complete without going to at least one baseball game and taking in all that it has to offer. I may be a little biased because I have been around the sport my entire life, but there is something poetic and beautiful about the game of baseball. Even if you’re new to the sport, you can still enjoy the ballpark atmosphere. Baseball can appeal to all of your senses and send you on an emotional rollercoaster. If you aren’t convinced yet, let me paint you a mental picture.
Imagine waking up one day and being told that you have tickets to your favorite team’s game that afternoon. For me, this would be the Chicago White Sox. You drive into the city and park next to the massive stadium that hides everything within its colossal walls. You head for the gates to gain entry and ride the escalator up to where your seat is. You find yourself in a concrete tunnel filled with the smells of hot dogs, popcorn, and pizza. It’s a little dark, a little cold, and overflowing with the voices of the thousands of fans passing through it. You move into the narrow passageway that will lead to the field, where you witness one of the most glorious sights you could imagine. The sun hits your face and immediately warms you up, the wind pushes your hair back and you can’t believe how massive the field looks. The outfield wall may say 400 feet on it, but it feels like a mile away. The grass in the outfield is cut to perfection, and has a very distinct pattern in it. You are dying to run barefoot like a little kid through that outfield because it looks so soft and inviting. You then look at the infield and it looks like a masterpiece. The dirt looks so smooth and the mound is set to be center stage for the next nine innings. You watch as the grounds crew draws the foul lines perfectly down the base path. Everything you see looks absolutely perfect.
The game soon begins and you listen as the entire stadium goes completely quiet while a single person sings the National Anthem. The crowd then erupts in cheers as the players take the field and the first pitch is thrown. There are so many different distractions going on around you, yet you are able to pick up on the beauty of the game as you sit back and relax. You can hear the ball connecting with a solid wood bat and the umpire calling the game. People are starting chants and a vendor is screaming “PEANUTS!” The game comes down to the last inning with your team down by one run. A player hits a homerun that wins the game for your team and the entire stadium goes wild. Fireworks are launched into the air and create a thunderous explosion. You can smell the smoke as it drifts through the air. You experience a rush of emotions as you just went from anxious and nervous to ecstatic and giving random strangers high fives. You start exiting the stadium, still on an emotional high, and realize what a day you have had. Baseball may be a simple game, but it can create spectacular emotions.
The sights, sounds, and smells of the game have consumed my summer memories my entire life. Baseball is a perfect sport to describe summer. Not only does it have aspects that can be picked up with all of your senses, but it is also relatable and social. The summer is a time to enjoy yourself and spend time with friends and family. It’s a relaxed sport to watch, which makes it easy to know what is going on while still enjoying the company you are with and the food you are eating.
If you are interested in having a fantastic summer and going to a baseball game, check out a few teams that are close to Lexington. Such as the Legends, Lexington’s local team that play single A ball in the Kansas City Royals organization. If you travel a little further, there is the Louisville Bats, the AAA team in the also nearby Cincinnati Reds organization.