TOMORROW!!!!! That is when the Atlanta Braves pitchers and catchers officially report to Spring Training in Orlando at their Disney Complex.
For just a few weeks the playing fields are level and every player is the hero of the World Series. There's something about the Florida (or Arizona) sun that's warmer than most places in our country, the smell of freshly cut grass, the thwacking of a baseball hitting a glove in a game of catch, and seats so close to the field you can hear the players talk. All is right with the world for a minute or two because life as we know it has remained the same somewhere.
Some of my favorite memories are from the game of baseball. A lot of us from my generation listened on summer nights to our local broadcaster describe the action on our transistor radios held by our ears. My hometown of Atlanta was defined a couple of decades ago by phrases such as "Worst to First", "The Catch", and "The Slide".
Snow will be falling here in middle Tennessee tomorrow, but with sincere apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer, I will be looking beyond the slush because...
"Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing as they bend and stretch and run;
Because there is joy in Mudville, Spring Training has begun!"
~Casey At The Bat (mostly)