A stock image of a baseball game on a TV
Three Batter Minimum

Three Batter Minimum: Baseball in the Background

One of my absolute favorite things to do with baseball is to turn it on in the background. This may sound odd, but hear me out for a few minutes. You see, baseball is an everyday presence in my life. Most of you reading this site know that already, but it bears repeating. I watch a lot of baseball and a lot of the time I watch that baseball intently. Year-round, various leagues in various countries have my undivided attention as I watch the sport that I love. However, there are plenty of occasions where I can’t give baseball my rapt attention.

Years ago I used to think that baseball always needed my sole focus. That meant I would not watch a game if I didn’t feel like I could truly watch it. I’m not entirely sure why I felt this way, but I did and I would skip plenty of baseball as a result. A few years ago I realized that my life would never truly die down. The facts became that as I grew older I had more responsibilities on my plate and that meant less time to actually watch baseball with my full, undivided attention. I’m a husband, father, homeowner, full-time Paramedic, part-time baseball writer, part-time college student, and much more. I have responsibilities and I have things I need to get done around the house almost every single day.

What I realized over time was that when I was younger baseball was always on in the background either at my house, my Grandma’s house, at my Uncle’s, etc. I wasn’t always paying attention to it, but the familiar sounds of the game were the sort of background noise that my present-day life was missing. To that end a few years back I started putting games on and then going about whatever business I had that day. It didn’t matter the language of the game or the country of origin, I always felt better hearing the sounds of baseball being played in the background.

Now, don’t get the wrong idea, I don’t do this all the time. There’s only so much baseball one can consume after all, and I am very aware that I already consume more than I should. But, when I have the inclination I turn on a game and let it play in the background while I do whatever and it simply feels right. It’s the sort of feeling that I can’t describe, but it’s how I know life is supposed to feel.

That brings me to the point of this article. My wife and I struggled through 2021, like most folks, for various reasons. While thinking about the year one of the moments that stood out to me as a positive was a simple one. It was sometime in the summer, maybe May or June. I was getting dinner ready and my youngest daughter was playing in the dining room while my wife was helping me with dinner. At the same time, I had a Liga Mexicana de Béisbol game streaming in the family room. I didn’t watch a single second of the game, but I remember hearing the sounds of the game, preparing dinner, chatting with my wife, watching my daughter play, and thinking, “Life doesn’t get much better than this.”

Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – Unknown

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Bill Thompson
Father (human/feline/canine), husband, Paramedic, Socialist, writer Internet Baseball Writers Association of America and Off the Bench Baseball; freelance writer at various online and print publications. Member Internet Baseball Writers Association of America & Society for American Baseball Research.

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