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Our World, Distractions and Baseball

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No matter what is going on in our lives, we still have baseball

Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images

This isn’t the best time in the world today. Many people are still talking about the election in our country and are hurt, saddened, concerned, and worried. On the other end of the spectrum, you have those that are ecstatic, encouraged, reinvigorated, and even hopeful. Whoa, whoa, don’t leave - this post is not about politics. My knowledge and depth of the issues is not broad enough to get into it, and quite frankly, I’m weary of hearing it anyway.

Instead, this is about life and baseball. It’s about how baseball can help. It’s about how baseball can distract. It’s about how baseball can heal.

You see, this past week, my wife and I celebrated the fourth birthday of our son. However, we never got to meet him. We never got to hear him laugh. We never got to him cry. We never got to clean his scraped knees. We never got to cheer him making solid contact with a ball using his new bat. That’s because we lost my son to stillbirth four years ago.

There are things that hurt. Losing a parent ranks right near the top. Even losing a cherished pet lingers on your mind for far too long. Yet losing a child is something that I hope no one ever has to endure. It is a pain far worse than you can even imagine. It’s taking everything you’ve worked for as a couple and ripping it apart. There is nothing harder than watching your wife/significant other go through that process of no longer feeling the kicks inside, of having hopelessness. You sit up at night and wonder, what did I do to deserve this? Was it something I did? Something I said? There are no answers. Instead, you look for ways to distract yourself.

For me, that’s baseball.

You see, in the months following our loss, my wife booked a trip for us to attend Spring Training in Clearwater. It wasn’t the trip we wanted to take at the time, as it was around our son’s expected due date. However, we went, hoping that our shared love of the game (and the Phillies) would help distract us from the pain that we would be feeling those days in Florida. It was there that I found how baseball can make for one of the best distractions around.

When you go early, you see the younger guys still trying to make the team, even though they might have a veteran blocking their dream. You get to share the love of the game with thousands of others who take their time from their busy work lives in the dead of winter to go and begin to scratch that itch that has been missing since the final out of the World Series. You can sit beyond the outfield grass, soaking in the sun at a time when the cold of winter chills your very soul.

And suddenly, you’re distracted.

See, in this current climate of what seems like 24-hour negativity, we need a distraction. I’ve been a part of conversations where people are just terrified of what the future holds. Communities of people fear for what could happen to their lives and the upheaval that has been bandied about. I’m not going to sit here and pontificate about either position of the debate, telling one side that they are right or wrong.

Instead, let me recommend this game we all love as a way of distracting you from these worries. Instead of reading about the latest cabinet post that was filled, immerse yourself in why signing Jeremy Hellickson to a qualifying offer is not the worst thing in the world. Instead of wondering how long the violence will last in certain pockets of the world, dig through the archives of Youtube and re-live an old Harry Kalas broadcast of a game. Talk to fans about their opinions on how the roster is shaping up and make yours known (respectfully, of course). Any of these will help take your mind off of the world, if only for a moment or two.

I’m not trying to render these topics happening in our world today meaningless - they most certainly are. However, whenever you need something to take your mind off of the weight and gravity of the current situations, let baseball help distract you. It helped me. It has helped countless others before us. And hopefully, it will help others for years to come.