I am lucky. In my lifetime, I attended games at Turner Field and Busch Stadium. While living in Atlanta, I went to Predators and Hawks games. My wife and I even attended the Thanksgiving Day Game between the Falcons and the Indianapolis Colts. Plus, in college, I marched halftime for a St. Louis Rams game against the Carolina Panthers. Now, I love sports. All sports. But there is nothing like a baseball game.
The green grass covered in the light of the summer sun. The smell of hotdogs, pretzels and other concession are the aroma that draws the boy that played stick ball back to life. The pop of the catcher’s glove on a heater down the middle of the plate. The crack of the bat on a mammoth home run. Sitting in the bleachers with a friend, hearing the vendors call out “Cold beer here!”
Maybe I am sentimental, but the fact that my daughter loves the Chicago Cubs makes me smile. We walked the warning track in Wrigley before a game in 2014 for Girl Scout Night. And then saw Anthony Rizzo in the cage underneath the outfield bleachers. We took the train, walked Wrigleyville, and she was in love. Now, she asked questions about strategy during games. My wife even woke her up to watch the final outs of the World Series.
Why that story? Major League Baseball is growing a fan base. Young boys and girls energized by the game, drawn to spend time with their mother or father, eat Cracker Jacks and cheer. In all the events I have attended, only baseball felt like home and not entertainment.
So, Commissioner Rob Manfred, you are in a great time of leadership for the game of baseball. Ratings are improving and the game is better. The era of issues is turning into an opportunity to build the future. The game is in your hands, and my daughter is watching.