Monday, March 12, 2007

The Boys of Summer...

It’s only a matter of a few weeks before more than 56,000 Angelenos ascend upon Chavez Ravine to partake in the SoCal holiday and staple of Los Angeles culture that is the start of the major league baseball season via Dodgers’ Opening Day.

Someone will call in sick to work an hour too late as he reads the sports section of the Los Angeles Times.

Someone will hit the Santa Anita mall the Sunday before in search of “just the right” Bermuda shorts to go with her “I heart L.A.” tank top.

Someone will toss and turn the night before as a circa 1980 dry cleaned Steve Garvey jersey hangs from the closet door knob.

Someone at Canter’s will beg and plea for scalper tickets with mom & pops while grubbing on potato pancakes with chive yogurt and cheese.

Someone will call his cousin at 7:49AM and yell, “Merry Christmas mother fucker!”
Some will ditch their Poli-Sci classes at Cal State L.A., Garfield High School, USC, East L.A. College, South El Monte High School, UCLA, or any ol’ SoCal institution of learning.

Someone will stroll to the corner liquor store at 9:23AM to purchase a 12-pack of Corona’s and a bottle of Hypnotiq because we all know they don’t sell alcohol in the left field pavilions.

Someone will bring the whole familia along, George Lopez status – ten to a car, now that’s what’s up.

Someone will call his girlfriend at 7:06AM and ask her to miss work because his brother didn’t have the nerve to call in sick.

Someone in San Jose, CA will jump on the 101 South Freeway at 5:00AM to make sure they arrive in time to catch the last 30 minutes of batting practices in hopes of getting a souvenir baseball only to find out that Top Deck seats don’t quite fit the bill as prime foul ball real estate.

Some yuppie will sit in his $225 baseline box seats for 2 1/3 innings before bailing due to the 86 degree heat beading down on his balding head.

Someone will drink half the bottle of Pepto-Bismol because Lord knows surviving a shit attack at Dodger Stadium should be the final stunt on the final season of Fear Factor.

Some will mope at work as they sit in a cubicle as the clock strikes 1:10PM and a knot in their throat emerges.

Some will gleam in the optimism that is opening day while others vow that the season will be a disgrace, but still not miss a single game.

Some 80-something year-old man in Palm Springs, CA by way of Brooklyn, NY will plop his Brooklyn Dodgers cap on his head and tune his radio to KPSI 920 AM as he reminisces of Ebbetts Field and Jackie Robinson.

Some will drive by Glenna Boltuch Avila’s L.A. Freeway Kids in downtown and think, “Good Lord, that’s been up since I was a kid.”

Some will actually ask for the day off.
Some will tune into the crisp cool voice of Vin Scully or Jaime Jarrin as they bare witness to the best baseball announcers on the planet.

A little boy/girl will live a memory that will last a lifetime, one that finds its way to the forefront of his/her mind on a death bed decades from now.

56,000+ folks from all walks of life will experience what the rest of the world should but can't.

Some 29-year old kid from El Monte, CA will do a combination of the above mentioned with a full heart and a Jack Nicholson smile .

This is baseball to me. I don't view it as a sport with a bunch of overpriced, selfish millionaires playing a kid’s game. It’s a way to unite a city that stretches from the Pacific Ocean to the desert. It’s a constant reminder that we were once kids and that life should still be lived as such. Baseball is a strumming guitar in old Mexico, it’s an Opera singer in Italia, it’s the chess of all sports and it’s the crack of a bat breaking the silence in an old Baldwin Park diamond in the warm California sun.


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