For the love of the game: How punk rockers and anti-jocks found fun and a love of sports with the Mission Baseball Club.

For nearly as long as he has lived in the San Francisco ara, Dr. Tiemann has attended weekend pickup baseball games with the Mission Baseball league. Playing the game with this casual, yet dedicated group of fans has enriched his love of the game in many ways. He’s been able to scoot around bases on occasion with the satisfaction of having hit the ball—a remarkably difficult feat when you think about it—to the delight and to the chagrin of his teammates. Building his own skills has heightened his appreciation when watching the game at the professional level, because he has a much better sense of just how far it is to those bases. And, he’s had the pleasure of meeting folks from a wide range of backgrounds—punk rockers—who he might not have otherwise had the chance to meet.

These two paragraphs beautifully render the experience of playing for someone who hasn’t tried it. In this case, the author of the article was given a chance to hit the field when a player had to sub out of the game:

I was curious as to how it would feel to play again; the last organized baseball I’d played, in the spring of my junior year of college, had been, from a competitive standpoint, about as far from the Mission Baseball Club as you could get. That season had marked a tipping point in my baseball career, when I realized the game had become something much different from what I’d fallen in love with as a child. What I’d assumed would be a lifelong passion for baseball had faded away; in its place I felt tension, stress, and physical exhaustion. I’ve avoided the game ever since.

As I stood out in right field on Sunday afternoon, however, the joy that I’d lost began to seep back. It was the smell of the grass, the crack of the wood bat, the sun beaming down on the field. It was the smiles, the laughs, and the warmth of a community that had welcomed me with open arms. It was viewing baseball through a new lens, successes and failures melting away in the shadow of the spirit of the game. Nobody showed up that Sunday with a need to win or do well individually. They showed up to play baseball with their friends.

Please click the following link to enjoy this wonderful write-up of Dr. Tiemann’s pick-up league in 48 Hills: For the love of the game: How punk rockers and anti-jocks found fun and a love of sports with the Mission Baseball Club, by Dillon McNeil.