Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What's That Strange Smell?

As I have not found time recently burdened by my busy schedule, something happened last Friday night that struck me, and immediately I knew I would have to blog about it. 

No different than any other Friday night, my friends and I piled into one of my friend's cars and headed to the stadium for the football game. As always the trunk is piled to the roof with baseball equipment. As we settled into the car one of my friends remarks: "What's that strange smell?" I personally noticed nothing peculiar about the scenario and hadn't a clue what he was talking about. My other friend responded instantly: "Oh that smell? That's baseball". As I quickly noticed the smell myself, I had realized my friend was right. The car had acquired the smell of baseball. 

Although baseball does not literally have its own scent. It is a scent that is keen in the mind of anyone who has ever walked out onto a baseball diamond. The smell of grass, freshly turned dirt, and sweaty uniforms all concoct together to make that distinct smell of baseball. The smell itself stays with you forever, and at every field, stadium or dome, the smell is exactly the same. 

In addition to the clangs of bats, movement on the base paths, and the occasional snap of gum and punch of a glove, this baseball smell is essentially part of the game. It's almost a rule of the game itself or something that "just is", its not intentionally put there and we don't question it other than in this case. Before every Little League game right before the first pitch I would inhale a long deep breath in through my nose. The scent would be picked from my brain knowing almost instantly what that smell is, baseball. And at this moment, I knew I was in the right place. Whether you may be a fan, player, coach, or merely just a "passer byer" of the game, we all know that distinct smell that continuously calls us back to the sport we love. 

"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball.  I'll tell you what I do.  I stare out the window and wait for spring."  ~Rogers Hornsby