There is so much to love about baseball.
People who complain that it takes too long or that it is boring are simply showing their ignorance.
If you understand the game, you know that the "down time" between pitches is when much of the game is being played. The pitcher is getting his signals from the catcher, the hitters and baserunners are getting signals from their coaches, and players are positioning themselves to be able to defend against the hitter.
The fact that there is a pause between half innings makes the game perfect for radio and television broadcasts.
Those television broadcasts were the impetus for my love of the game. Baseball has been on television for almost 80 years. But it wasn't like it is today.
Kids today don't understand why there were so many Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves fans in the 1980s. Before cable television came around, we basically got to see a major league game of the week and some highlights on "This Week in Baseball."
That was good, but I will never forget when my parents first signed up for cable television in 1981. I loved CNN. I was an 11-year old kid but I was enthralled with the constant access to the news of the day. I know. I was a weird kid.
But I also loved baseball. Thanks to the two "superstations" I was able to watch the Atlanta Braves on WTBS and the Chicago Cubs on WGN. I remember some White Sox games, but it seemed like the Cubs were on every day when I got home from school and my dad was always willing to watch if they were.
I don't know if it was Harry Caray or just the team itself, but I never fell in love with the Cubs. They were playing baseball, so I would watch. But I didn't care that they were never any good.
The Braves were a different story. I loved watching Dale Murphy, Gary Matthews and Glenn Hubbard.
Murphy was - and probably still is - my favorite player. He hit the ball hard. He even turned himself from one of the worst defenders in baseball to one of the best. He was the Braves’ first MVP since a guy named Hank Aaron wore the uniform.
I modeled my batting stance after Murphy and wanted to hit like him. But one player I wasn't allowed to model was The Mad Hungarian. Al Hrabosky was a relief pitcher and I loved that he didn't care about baseball's unwritten rules.
Hrabosky would stalk around behind the mound and psyche himself up. He would slam the ball into his glove and walk rapidly to the top of the mound. He made it quite a show.
But if I would have ever tried that when I was pitching in Little League, that car ride home would have been pretty eventful.
Being a Braves fan wasn't easy for a while. During the 1980s, they had a few decent years, but they also had years when they didn't even win 60 games. In baseball, there is an adage that you will win 60 games and lose 60 games and the best teams are the ones who do the most with the other 42. The Braves proved that adage wrong a couple of times.
But then came the 1990s. Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Greg Maddux changed life in Fulton County Stadium. The Braves were always in the playoffs and even the World Series a few times.
Being a huge Braves fan, I always wanted to see a game in Fulton County Stadium where Hank Aaron had hit his record-breaking home run. I didn't get there in time.
In 2003, my wife and I were set to go to Cozumel for a vacation. That didn't work out since she found out she was pregnant and she didn't want to be pregnant on a resort in Mexico.
I had a great idea. We changed the trip to Atlanta where we could see the Coca Cola factory and also take in a couple of Braves games. Luckily, she's a big sports fan too and went along with my new plan.
Trying to feed a woman whose morning sickness lasted about 12 hours a day on vacation was interesting. I can tell you every place in Atlanta that serves a Caesar Salad because that is all she would eat.
We went to a game on Saturday night. It was a blast. We took a tour of the new Turner Field. When we were in the press box, she felt Blake kick for the first time.
That was pretty cool.
We had purchased a couple of Braves baseballs to have the players sign, but rain washed out batting practice before the Sunday game so we were stuck with two logo balls.
I can be creative at times. When we were about to have Blake - it's funny that I said “we” there, like I was doing anything other than taking photos - I had a big idea. I asked the doctor how much ink they put on the baby's feet when they did those footprints on the birth certificates. I knew sometimes they put them on the dad's scrubs as well. He said there was a lot of ink, the feet had to be cleaned off. So I asked if we could put Blake's footprints on my two Braves' baseballs. He liked the idea so now I have one on my desk in my office and my father in law got the other one.
Baseball is a great game. It teaches life lessons and creates memories that no other sport can.
Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. And sometimes it rains. But there is nothing boring about baseball.