The Mythology of Baseball

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The Mythology of Baseball


Upon arrival at the opening game of the season for the Whitecaps, I feel very self concious, as if I do not belong here. I glance at my companions and laugh, they probably feel the same way. We walk up the steps of the stadium and I smile, momentarily caught up in the sweet charm of a group of elderly men, playing 'Take Me Out To The Ballpark' in old fashioned brass style. This will be an interesting night at the very least.

We joke around as we buy our wine coolers, thinking that if we are to experience a large American myth, baseball, we should also do something very American while doing so, namely drink. We settle into our seats, the frigid metal benches searing our bottoms as we realize it is very cold tonight. There is a band on the field and our classmates begin to arrive. We joke around alittle with them and I notice that one has brought her child, a little one about age three. I watch him off and on, his child's glee at the commotion delighting me, taking me to the child within for a few moments.

Then, a pre game show begins, talking about the mascots of the past, complete with cars, another American myth, for each era represented. I laugh out loud as I see the "Bleacher Creature", and laugh even harder as cheesy music associated with baseball is blasted through the loudspeakers. The game begins. Everyone rises to sing the National Anthem. I stay seated, getting picked on alittle by those around me. I feel alittle out of place, but I place no value on this song.

We wrap in blankets, huddling together to stay warm as the first inning progresses. It is cozy and I can't help thinking about "the good life" and the "American Dream". It takes me most of the first and second inning to figure out the basic rules of the game. My companions are joking and laughing around me. Everyone is having a good time.

Throughout the game I am distracted, turning to listen to those around me, watch them, and see thgeir reactions to the game. I come to notice after a while that everyone is interested in the game, try as they might to hide it, and I even catch myself grinning in anticipation and cheering on the home team almost against my will as the magic of baseball takes me up.

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The game ends with the home team winning. Fireworks blast in the night air and we all watch as if we were children again. As we leave, I smile. I am very glad I came.

The basic Myths in baseball become evident after this experience. Death is represented by the winning or losing of the game. the victor is the survivor. It has meaning because there are stakes present. It is all about cheering for the home team, loyalty which is present whether or not they win.


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