A while ago I wrote an article listing some awesome things about lacrosse. I love baseball too, so here are some things that make baseball awesome. Some of these are about playing, some are about watching, and some are just about the game in general.
The opposing team has the bases loaded and nobody out and you get out of the inning without giving up any runs.
When playing the outfield, that feeling you get after thinking “Oh crap, I’m not going to get to this fly ball” and then realizing that you can.
Watching one of your favourite players hit a walk-off 3-run home run to left field to win the World Series. (Note: may not be awesome to Phillies fans.)
An outfield assist.
Weird scoring plays. The best are the ones that involve a rundown. Combine this with the outfield assist, and you could have a 7-6-5-4-5-4 double play.
Seeing a ball game in a park you’ve never been to before. Places I’ve seen baseball games:
Skydome Rogers Centre, Exhibition Stadium (RIP), Fenway, (New) Comiskey, Alameda County Coliseum (Oakland), The Kingdome (formerly in Seattle – RIP), plus one spring training game in Fort Myers, Florida.
No lead is safe. If you’re down 5-0 with 5 minutes left to play in a hockey game, it’s technically possible that you could come back and win, but I doubt it’s ever happened in the NHL. In baseball, there’s no time limits, so as long as you keep getting on base, you can do it. I’ve seen the Jays come back and win after being down 10-0. The other night I saw them lose 5-4 after going into the bottom of the 9th up 4-0.
Again when playing the outfield, running in on a short pop fly that nobody thinks you can get to, making the catch, and then doubling a runner off. (This has only happened to me a couple of times but is especially awesome since I don’t have a strong throwing arm, so baserunners who test my arm generally win.)
When a pitcher strikes out the last batter of a complete game victory. I love complete games in general, but when the last out is a strikeout, you can tell that the pitcher is still in command after nine innings.
A perfectly executed double steal.
When the ball is hit so sharply to the right fielder that he throws the batter out at first. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this in an MLB game, but it’s happened a couple of times in games I’ve played in.
Watching a milestone happen live. Doesn’t need to be a huge milestone, but when the PA announcer comes on and tells you that you’ve just seen the first-ever <something>, that’s awesome. My wife was in attendance at Dave Steib’s no-hitter in Cleveland, but those kinds of milestones are few and far between. Milestones I have seen live:
- The Blue Jays’ first triple play in 1977
- Manny Lee’s first major league hit (a single)
- Dave Steib’s first one-hitter
- Pat Hentgen’s last start as a Blue Jay
- Roger Clemens’ first start as a Blue Jay (and his opening day start the next year too)
- Cal Ripken’s first game after ending his 17-year streak
Seeing a kid bring his glove to an MLB game. It’s the only sport where nobody thinks twice if they see you bring your own equipment to a game you’re watching. Nobody brings a hockey stick to an NHL game or their own tennis racquet to Wimbledon. I must say I have seen lacrosse sticks at NLL games, but it’s generally young kids bringing little plastic sticks, not adults bringing full-sized ones.
A straight steal of home. You gotta have cojones.
When a batter watches strike three go by and then smiles because he knows it was a great pitch.
Watching the last out of the last game of the World Series. I love watching the players celebrate, even if it’s not my team. Though it’s better if it is.
Did I miss any?