It was a gorgeous Southern California day today. The shadow of the stadium had just eased itself across home plate in the bottom of the ninth. The Dodgers had pulled a bizarre 2-5-4-3 Triple Play in the top half of the inning to maintain a tie ballgame, but with two out and bases loaded in the home half, Dee Gordon was their last chance to put the game away before it went to extra frames.
And Dee did it. And the Dodgers are 9-1. As he rounded first base, young Gordon tossed his helmet in the air and let great joy overwhelm him and his teammates mobbed him and carried him away in victory. There was laughter and, I admit, I teared up.
In the greater scheme, it was a small victory, representing not even 1% of the season’s eventual totals. But even though we’d only beat a last-place team and only two weeks into the season, the joy was overwhelming.
Baseball is fun.
I played three softball games today, too. True story: one of the teams we played beat us by two runs. When it was over, while my team sat in a circle joshing each other about the game, the team that had just beat us started bickering among themselves. In thirty seconds that bickering escalated to near-fisticuffs. There was no joy and no serenity in their win.
I hope the Dodgers win a lot more ballgames this year. 91 more, give or take a couple, would be a good number, I think. I hope that my softball team wins more ballgames this year, too.
But more than anything, I hope we see a lot more incredible joy on the field. Helmets tossed, great grins of childish joy like that one Dee Gordon has got in the picture above. I saw that and I knew immediately that I was going to have to pause and screen-capture it.
I want to be able to revisit it when I need it.