Saturday, August 16, 2014

It's A Beautiful Night for Baseball!

Tonight is the annual outing where I invite 200 of my closest archival friends to a baseball game during the Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists.  With the SAA Annual Meeting here in Washington, DC this year, that means the Washington Nationals.  Tonight, the Nats will take on the Pittsburgh Pirates (which was the team that we saw the first time I organized this outing, lo these many years ago).

Here's a post that came out on BuzzFeed back at the beginning of the baseball season on why "Baseball is the Best Sport for Anxious Fans." (click the link to see the associated pictures with the text below)

We all know the horror of watching your closing pitcher blow a lead. But for the overall anxious among us, baseball provides invaluable respite.

  1. There are 162 games in a season. Day One! So filled with hope! With so many games on the schedule, losses are easier to stomach than in other sports… 
  2. Each game is roughly three hours long. So over the course of a season, you invest an unspeakable amount of time and nervous energy into baseball that might otherwise be pent up in anxiety.
  3. Baseball stadiums are significantly less stressful than arenas for other sports. Your team is down by 5 runs? Shrug it off, go buy yourself a $25 hot dog. So get out there, the sun’s good for you. Just don’t forget sunblock.
  4. The pace of the game is rarely stressful due to its slow pace. We all know those strikeout, fly out, ground out innings. Which gives you time to get to know your favorite players and their quirky personalities.
  5. However, something exciting could happen at any moment, which helps keeps your focus on the game and not on external stressors. Honestly, whose day wouldn’t be made better by a Bartolo Colon home run? 
  6. Following the game closely could actually stimulate your brain in a calming way.
  7. Diving deep into the world of complicated statistics can be tranquilizing for the more obsessive of us. 
  8. Nostalgia, considered a reprieve from emotional distress, goes hand in hand with baseball. Much has been written about the traditional and ritualistic nature of the game. Richard Skolnik says “Baseball memories are said to be memories of America’s youth, and to represent rich receptacles of traditions and values as meaningful as the greater socio-cultural context in which the game is played.”
  9. Even after the stressful end of the season, you have a long offseason to recover.
  10. Yet nothing puts a smile on your face like waking up and realizing pitchers and catchers are set to report that day.

1 comment:

Jdanek said...

Indeed! Paul and I started going to games together in '88, which was of course when the Os began the season 0-21! We'd walk to Memorial Stadium. We're fond of referencing George Carlin's Baseball vs. Football bit.