The events that occurred Sunday with the passing of Jose Fernandez, and what happened across all of baseball on Sunday and Monday, reminded me of something I’ve known for a long time but don’t always think about. Baseball is just one big family. Not everyone in the baseball family gets along all the time, sounds like a real family, but in times of need the family stands together in unquestionable support.
What makes the baseball family so much more connected than other sports? Every team, whether it is football, basketball, hockey, or whatever sport you list has a family aspect in it. When you bleed and sweat with others, focused on a singular goal you bond. Baseball, however, seems to have an even deeper connection.
A part of the reason can simply be attributed to the amount of time teams are together. In Major League Baseball, and even the minor leagues, some players start spring training in February and then don’t finish their season until October, possibly even November depending on playoffs and fall league. That is nine months of games every day, meals together, down time in the clubhouse, and even hanging out on off days.
Other sports do have a lot of time together, but when you play every single day and spend far more time with your teammates then your own family you have to bond.
Another part of the bond is because of the history of the game. Unlike any other sport the history of baseball is honored and showcased all the time and this creates a sense of awe that you get to be a part of this great game. This is one of the key reasons why fans are so connected into the baseball family. Players and fans alike can reminisce about listening to games on the radio, picking up a stick and a whiffle ball and playing the game. The memories baseball builds seem to be deeper and stronger than other sports.
Baseball has the ability to cross language barriers, to draw families closer together and to inspire. I don’t know exactly why baseball creates such an family feel, I just know that being a part of the baseball family is something I cherish and am thankful to have in my life.