Arts in New York City: Baruch College, Fall 2008, Professor Roslyn Bernstein
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More Than a Game

Some people call it a game, others say it’s a pastime; but to me, baseball is life.  The smell of a new wooden bat, fresh cut grass, and perfectly raked dirt is all I need to be happy.  Baseball has been an aspect of my life since I first stepped onto the top of the dugout of legendary Yankee Stadium.  At the age of four, my tiny body bounced up and down on this structure, ignorant to the history I was making in my own life.  Ever since that day, I knew it was this great sport that flowed through my veins.

Unlike many other things in life, baseball is straightforward.  It makes perfect sense to me.  School, on the other hand, is filled with complicated formulas, historical facts, and tests to study for.  All of these things that cause anxiety and made everyday life tedious are forbidden here on the baseball diamond.  It is almost as if there is an unwritten rule that says, “forget everything, just think baseball.”  Now this is something I can relate to in every way, shape, and form.  Catching, throwing, and hitting a baseball are what I take pride in, things I live for.

During my high school years, my teammates shared this desire and passion with me.  Some of my best friends were made on the baseball diamond.  During baseball season was when we judged each other and granted each other respect that we valued greater than life itself.  Who threw the hardest, ran the fastest, played the toughest?  These were the questions we asked ourselves; everything else didn’t seem to matter.  Our love for the game came natural.  We didn’t have to force ourselves to go to practices early or stay later for extra training sessions.  There was no other place we wanted to be.

We became brothers, coming from different religions, races, and cultures.  Jewish, Catholic, black, white, Puerto Rican, Italian- these aspects of ourselves weren’t important to us.  We learned about each other’s cultures and considered ourselves members of each and every one.  A more accurate description of the special bond we had is a diverse family brought together for one shared goal- a New York City Championship.

It was baseball that allowed me to experience what it is like to be a hero, a savior.  The most important knowledge I gained; however, came during my senior year of high school and was a great turning point in my life.  As one of the oldest member of the team, my younger teammates not only respected me but they looked up to me.  Determination and dedication came along with this new role of captain.  Our school was strictly known for our academic achievements.  This forced us to work twice as hard in order to achieve our goals on the baseball field.  We wanted to prove we weren’t just capable in the classroom.  I have experienced many defining moments on the baseball field that has developed me into the person I am today.

1 comment

1 Christian Iezzi { 12.17.08 at 2:13 am }

I really enjoyed this piece Vin. I can really relate to your feelings about baseball because I too have a love of the game. It does certainly have a way of helping many people develop good qualities. This is a very candid and sincere expression regarding what baseball means to you.