By Guest Writer Dennis Gronau:
Born & raised in Portland, Oregon means not many chances to attend Baseball games. At the young age of 7 I started watching WGN & fell in love with the Chicago Cubs. Watching Harry Carey & Steve Stone broadcasting the games to my living room made it that much more enjoyable.
Having only one professional Baseball team in the Northwest I also rooted on the Seattle Mariners. Wasn’t until a few years later I went to a couple Mariners games in the Kingdome. One game I went with my Dad & Grandmother, we sat in the outfield seats and talk about some great memories made for a lifetime. Oh by the way my Dad got me a homerun ball and talk about the excitement and thrill to see my Dad hold that ball up. Memories of these times are one’s I will cherish for a lifetime. That’s what Baseball should mean to everyone…The memories & excitement.
As we get older and try to always enjoy moments from our childhood it always was about Baseball for myself. In my early adult life I moved up to the Tacoma area which is just south of Seattle and better chances of attending more Mariners games. Also being in the Tacoma area it gave me a great chance to see minor league baseball at Cheney Stadium (Tacoma Rainer’s). The Mariners having built a beautiful new stadium named Safeco Field. Unfortunately it took me a few years to actually attend a game at Safeco. But let me tell you once I stepped foot into Safeco Field I was just in so much awe. The design and the layout of the stadium is one of a kind. Everyone should have those kinds of memories when attending a baseball game no matter if young or old. Attending games are what Baseball means to me.
Unfortunately I no longer live in the Great Northwest but before I left I went to one last Seattle Mariners game. It was near the end of another horrible season for the Mariners so I got some really great seats right behind the Mariners dugout. During the game I just sat and watched everything going on such as players warming up on-deck, pitchers sitting in the dugout looking out to the fans interacting with each other. The small things at a baseball games is what it means to me personally. The crack of the bat, the umpire yelling Play Ball, the concessions guys yelling “Cold Beer” or “Peanuts”. Those little things is what Baseball means to me.
Everyone will have different definitions of what the game of baseball means to them. The overall thought it’s definitely Americas past time. Gone are the days of baseball players playing there entire career for one team like the Cal Ripken Jr, Tony Gwynn, & Seattle Mariners own Edgar Martinez. Those players are what Baseball means to me, loyalty & respect.
Now as we come onto another Baseball season & Spring Training right around the corner I’m just realizing that Baseball means a lot more than I could ever imagine. Just taking my young son to games and passing the traditions I have learned to another generation. Memories & traditions are what Baseball means to me.