The Worst Has Happened Again: Baseball Season Is Over

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The Worst Has Happened Again: Baseball Season Is Over

Snow at 4 Jersey St.

The leaves have started to turn, a chill is in the air, and there is snow at Fenway. While the pictures of the grand old park cloaked in white are beautiful, they also evoke a deep sadness. The baseball season is over, however short it was, and there is nothing to do save for watching football; a poor substitute for one’s best friend. So what does the baseball fan do now? After the tears have dried, you pick yourself up, dust off your favorite baseball book (The Summer Game by Roger Angell should do), and turn your eyes to the past. Because without the past, baseball is a TV show soon to be forgotten.

The Days Are Long

As this is being written, there are 142 (luckily less as you are reading this) days until opening day 2021. And even fewer until pitchers and catchers report to spring training. The Summer Game is 303 pages long (University of Nebraska Press printing), which should only last at most seven days. After that, another book is in order, of course, but will that be enough? If not, then here are a few ideas to fill your baseball senses while slogging through the winter season.

Classic Radio Broadcasts

The box score is one of the most basic forms of communicating the goings-on of a baseball game. And other than gathering on a street corner and staring at an automated scoreboard, the box score was the only way to keep up with your favorite ball club in the early part of the 20th Century. Then came the 1920s and baseball on the radio. Baseball suddenly came alive over the airwaves and was brought into many households across the country. Since that time, even after the advent of television and the subsequent pairing of baseball and the TV, the national pastime and radio have had an ongoing love affair. It is a match made in heaven. And if the amplified oscillating current is your ideal way to catch a game, then look no further because Classic Baseball Radio Broadcasts MLB is here for your off-season listening pleasure.

Available broadcasts range from the 1934 All-Star Game to Game Seven of the 1973 World Series between the Oakland Athletics and the New York Mets. There are 511 broadcasts in total, so there should be enough baseball drama to keep you warm by the fireside.

MLB Vault

If the soothing voices of bygone radio broadcasters aren’t enough just head over to the MLB Vault on YouTube. It’s free and has plenty of content to keep you clicking away for hours. Their complete game archives include 1952 World Series games. The ’52 series transports you to a time in which you can watch Mick and the Yankees battle it out with Jackie and the Dodgers. Or you can watch one of Nolan Ryan‘s no-hitters, Roger Clemens strikeout twenty, or Kirk Gibson pump his fists while rounding the bases on hobbled legs.

If you don’t have 2 1/2 plus hours to laze away watching the horsehide zip around the diamond there are plenty of clips.  The clips are neatly filed away in different playlists from postseason moments to legendary players to nasty pitchers, defensive wizards, and classic plays. There is so much baseball here that you will feel like you are living at the ballpark.

Ken Burns’ Baseball

There is no better way to learn about and enjoy the history of baseball than to spend over twenty-four hours of your life watching a documentary about it. And there is no better documentary about our national pastime than Ken Burns’ Baseball. The documentary is broken up into innings. It starts in the 1st with baseball’s earliest beginnings and ends in the 10th (extra innings), concluding in 2009. The documentary is populated with a treasure trove of interviews from numerous Negro League players, such as Buck O’Neil, actors like Billy Crystal, and broadcasters like Vin Sculley. There are so many ballplayers, writers, and personalities interviewed that it would take a whole article to list them all.

Baseball is like putting on a warm blanket or hanging out with old friends. If you haven’t watched it, please do. There is a whole history just waiting to be told to you in the most comforting of ways.

The Best Will Happen Again

Before you know it, the family of bears that has been hibernating in your backyard emerges from their den and rummages around in your trash. The grass creeps its way through the melting snow and wildflowers burst forth. The familiar chatter of ballplayers and the cracking of bats abound. Spring is here!

Don’t worry, the best will happen again. Baseball will return and all will be right with the world. Until then, why not visit another time and savor what you already know but cannot get enough of.

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