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The Daily Tar Heel

Double Dutch: Baseball

Sometimes I played first base, sometimes third.

I wasn't a pitcher.

Nor was I a hitter.

The only time I remember standing at the plate is when a giant bumblebee landed on my nose and stung me. I stood in shock, and watched strike three sail past me. Still, I had fun playing baseball when I was young.

Somewhere along the way, I lost my faith. I wish I could say it was because I am not a baseball player. I'm not a basketball player, yet I still love to play and watch. I've never even played a game of football, yet I'm always on the couch on Sundays in the fall. (My roommates will tell you I'm always on the couch.)

Real baseball seemed to lose its appeal about the same time metaphorical baseball emerged.

"How far did you get with Suzie?"

"First base - she's a prude."

Actually, I was just as terrible at metaphorical baseball. I was hit by more pitches than anything else.

With girls on my mind, I had little time to think about George Brett's on-base percentage against the Houston Astros' bullpen.

Throughout high school and college, I didn't have time for a game that moved at such a slow pace. I demanded action. (And I was finally starting to get some.) For years I threw around the "b" word when describing baseball: "Baseball is as boring as a Catholic wedding."

But as life became more stressful, I began to appreciate the slower elements of life. Shakespeare.

Red wine. PBS.

Baseball is timeless. And there lies the beauty. (All you who don't wear a watch know what I'm talking about.) Go to a game and forget about your troubles.

I guess I'm starting to believe in baseball again thanks to the Durham Bulls. I don't come to every game. I don't follow the team when I'm not at the game. I guess you could say I'm a fair weather fan.

I'm still not sold on Major League Baseball. When you know that your team (the Kansas City Royals) will never make the playoffs before the season even begins, it's difficult to be enthusiastic. I'll still go to the games, though.

Like those Cub fans that pack Wrigley Field every game, despite a perennially mediocre team, I love the atmosphere. And the Italian sausages.

"Let's play two."

Brian can be reached at

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The Daily Tar Heel Victory Paper for November 20, 2023