Baseball on the radio has always transported me, first when I was a kid listening to Harry Caray, Jack Buck and the Cardinals on KMOX 1120 AM, and ever since.
It's always made me feel like a kid again, with nothing in the moment more urgent than the next pitch, hit, out, batter, inning. If my team didn't win it was a shame, but there was always hope for tomorrow's next game, and eventually for next year. Sometimes "we" won, sometimes lost, sometimes it rained, but the unfiltered immediacy of the sounds and conjured images crackling through those "50,000 red-hot watts" was hot indeed. It was almost better than being there.
(Being there with Older Daughter last year in St. Pete, Tampa, Clearwater, Dunedin, Bradenton (et al) was very nice, though.)
Yearning to recapture the vital immediacy of that childlike devotion, I keep tuning in every Spring just like I did yesterday. It's so much easier now that all the teams' radio broadcasts are available on the MLB phone app. So are most of the telecasts, but I'm not interested in crowding the game into a small screen. In my imagination it's so much better, so much bigger than life.
And now I'm in the mood to prepare my presentation for this year's annual Baseball in Literature and Culture conference...