September 8, 2008

Every time is your first time to the ball park

Before you set foot inside Busch Stadium, there is an inviting atmosphere that tells you that the day you are experiencing is special.

The air is buzzing from the moment you depart your vehicle and take your first step toward the park. The sights, the sounds, the smells, and how you feel from the inside-out is always unique and special with every trip to the Busch Stadium.

Each person, young and old, takes away unique and special memories from the day of the game. And it seems that no matter how often one has a recollection of that special day, those sights and sounds and smells come rushing back in vivid detail.

For it is not always the excitement of your hero's home run that you remember first, or most fondly, but the approach of the ball park, the promise of that day.

How unusual yet awesome that such anticipation can be relived as many times as you go to the ball park, then taken with you for the rest of your life.

And what a gift, that baseball gives to children of all ages.

For the youngsters clinging to the hands of their parents, this time dragging daddy and mommy along instead of the other way around, their eyes bright at the sight of the huge stadium where something very fun and important will soon take place, and knowing that they are going inside to be a part of it.

Or just as easily, the gift can be for the elderly couple as they come upon the ball park, content with a top speed of slow, so they may embrace all the years of baseball heroes on the way inside, and hoping, perhaps, that those youngsters can realize even a piece of baseball lore, to extract the special feeling that is there for anyone who seeks it.

And for every age between, the gift of a lifelong arrival at the ball park, a chance to recall past experiences and wonder what new experiences await them.

All that from baseball, a simple ball game, and the ball park in which it is played. Like Busch Stadium, which could be AnyPark, USA.

It is this writer's hope that no matter how many times you go to Busch Stadium, or any other Big League park, that it will always be your first time.