High Five

Five years ago, Jesse and I were discussing the upcoming baseball season. He was in Georgia and I was in the frigid cold of New Jersey working my way through graduate school. As our conversations often are during the winter, we were both impatiently waiting for the beginning of Spring Training. Baseball has always been a major part of our relationship. Playing baseball in the street just the two of us, one pitching and one hitting. It was not batting practice, it was baseball. A wooden bat and a tennis ball, so we didn’t break any windows. One of us would pitch, the other would hit. We would swing at almost anything because we had one ball and we did not want to chase the ball, instead we wanted the other one chase it while we ran around the bases. Ghost runners were abundant as we both would throw the pitch and quickly begin backing up to field the ball. You learn to move quickly if you want to win. Baseball in the street never had innings, we just played until we were called inside for dinner or until we could not see the ball anymore.

During that cold February I was discussing my graduate school work and the job search, and of course baseball. Jesse suggested I start writing a baseball blog as something to keep my writing skills up post graduation. I had never thought about doing that before, but the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea. The idea quickly turned into The Winning Run.

Pirates

The Winning Run: Jesse Derek, and John at a Pirates game after a long road trip to get there. Bernie has since joined the group. (The Winning Run)

Researching and writing for The Winning Run has taught me so much about the game I love. It was an early lesson, which I am relearning now with umpiring, that the more you think you know about baseball the less you actually know. Five years have flown by in life and in baseball. I am continuously thankful Jesse convinced me to start writing about this wonderful game. I have gained new friendships and traveled to cities I never thought I would visit, simply to watch a game. Baseball is beautiful and wonderful; baseball makes it better.

I hope the next five years are just as amazing as the first five.

DJ

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