It’s been a beautiful spring, which means we’re all missing the sports that should be going on right now.
Of course I have done a lot of thinking about the games we are missing – I wrote about that last week, but as the time goes on, it’s the little things about baseball and softball season and covering games in general that I miss and that I know I won’t take for granted whenever it comes time to get back to that routine.
It’s easy to take the small stuff for granted, and that goes for players, coaches and myself. You get caught up in the hustle and bustle of a season. For coaches and players, it’s game planning each game and rolling with that schedule, and for me, it’s churning out stories and going from place to place to get as many athletic events in the paper as I can. It’s times like these that make you take a step back and appreciate the details, that help you to remember everything you enjoy about this time of the year.
I remember just a week or so into baseball and softball season commenting (not really complaining) to my best friend about being out at games three nights in a row until close to 10 p.m. or later. It may have seemed exhausting then, but now it’s definitely one of the things I miss. I would gladly stay out past 10 p.m. covering a game right now.
I miss being in dugouts and the camaraderie that you see in each and every team. That’s one of my favorite parts about covering a game is seeing the bond between teammates and between coaches and players. I miss watching teammates encourage each other and pick each other up after things don’t go their way. I miss hearing players dissect plays, hits and pitches and hearing their takes on the game. It’s certainly something that has made me love it even more, hearing their input and thought processes.
I even miss dugout cheers. You hear them most often in softball, especially those catchy ones. I remember when I first started working here, that was something I had to get used to and those cheers would be stuck in my head when I went home at night. Those dugout cheers would be an enjoyable sound at the moment.
I miss keeping score and stats during a game. It’s a task that’s sometimes challenging depending on the sport and the game, but it’s part of my routine and one that I miss. When you’re keeping stats, you are staying fully locked in on a game and enjoying every second of it that much more.
Furthermore than that, I really miss taking pictures during a game. It’s now been over two months since I have gotten to take action photos during a real game, and while it wasn’t what I was good at when I began this job, it’s a part I have worked hard at during the last eight years. I miss getting excited when I get the ball coming off the bat on a key hit, a tag on baserunner when he or she was out or that awesome slide into the dirt when one is safe.
I really miss what I call “celebration” pictures – the dogpile after clinching a state championship, the high fives after a home run or the fist pumping after a pitcher getting a big strikeout. Those moments to me are part of what photographing a game is all about.
I miss the sounds of the game during baseball and softball. Those are definitely some of the little things that it’s easy to take for granted – the sound of a ball coming off a bat, the slap of it hitting the back of a leather glove, all the things that simply become background noise when you are used to attending many games each week.
Taking things for granted when they are a part of your routine is a simple thing to do, but I know whenever the next time I get to cover a baseball or softball game is, whether it’s this summer or next spring, I will be sure to take a step back and appreciate all the details that were missed out these last few months.