But, for now, I’m in. And as I watch my teams go up and down, up and down, it strikes me that it’s not about the wins and the losses, or not totally about that. Seems to me it’s about hope, not exactly about this game right here but about the promise of tomorrow’s game, that today’s win–if they could just win today–means tomorrow’s game will give us another shot, another dose. Another dose of what we crave and maybe need, which is the thrill and release of the win but also, underneath that, the subtler thing of another day, another reason to believe, to hope. And on and on. Today for tomorrow. Tomorrow for the day after that. Another little piece of hope, and, if we’re lucky and if the ball bounces right and not left, another.
It just now occurred to me that, very likely, those green army duffel bags that were in every little league dugout of my youth, very likely, those duffel bags came from young men who had, before we came around, fought in Vietnam. Very likely. In our youth, they held Easton bats and Wilson catcher’s gear and Rawlings balls but before–and not all that much before–they held all kinds of different things. Now, no doubt, the little league teams have moved on, to bags made specifically to carry baseball gear. But not then, not in the 1980s and into the 1990s. Our fathers, our uncles, had been to Vietnam, and they coached our teams, using what they had to carry what they wanted.