Sunday, March 29, 2020

Spring Interrupted

If it weren't for the uwanted arrival of Coronavirus, we would be watching Mets games that counted by now. We're not only not watching games now, but there's a real chance that 2020 might come and go without a single regular season game being played at all.

I managed to make it through the first 10 years of my life without baseball having much more of an impact on my life than an occasional game of catch. But that year the magical 1969 Mets stole my heart, and baseball has been an integral part of my existence ever since.

For those old enough to remember, the years 1972 through 1995 seemed to feature endless lockouts and strikes that threatened various seasons, with 1972 and 1981 actually resulting in chunks of the regular season being lost, and the 1994 strike that saw the baseball season cut short in August, including the entire playoffs.

That one in particular, and the cumulative effect of constant threatened lockouts, really hurt baseball's popularity in a way from which it never truly recovered. Still, the fact that they have avoided stoppages for so many years has, at least for my life, woven the Mets and Major League Baseball deeply into the fabric of my life.

From the time spring training stopped I was aware that I might not see baseball again any time soon, but this week it really hits home for the first time in 51 years that the New York Mets might not have any part in a full year of my life. That potential loss brings home to me so clearly how much a part that the rhythms of a Mets season is so deeply interwoven into my life. Even when they're terrible they're such a big part of my spring and summer, but years when they're even competitive the Mets dominate much of my consciousness.

When I'm not watching or listening to games I'm often reading about them or thinking about them.  When they're playing well I'm just a little happier, and when they're not I'm a little less happy, but I always appreciate the diversion from the mundane day to day responsibilities of life. Now all of that might be taken away until next year.

Baseball isn't the most important thing in my life. My family, both human and canine, are more important. So are my friends and the folks in my physical community and my cyber friends made over so many years online.  And you, too, friend reader. I hope that we all ride this storm safely and all live to see baseball being played again in those crowded stadiums full of passionate fans. It will only be sweeter after having been lost for a sad, sad time. God bless all of us, our families, friends near and far, and our communities.

I'm not sure if anyone who read the old blog will find their way here after all these many years, but if you do please drop me an email or comment if you'd prefer. I'd honestly love to hear from you. Also, I will be posting here regularly if you're inclined to come back.

Follow me on Twitter @MikeSteffanos

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