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The sweetest sound (or, Do You Hear What I Hear?)

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  • The sweetest sound (or, Do You Hear What I Hear?)

    This morning I scuffed through snow to get the daily paper, and skimmed through the sports section stuffed with news about skiing and skating. But then I heard something -- something besides the chickadees singing "Hi sweetie!", or the murmur of the ice-choked river a quarter mile away.

    I heard winter's back breaking.

    It makes a sound that's hard to hear at first: a muffled intermittant popping sound. I listened harder, and the popping became louder and more distinct. A sharp, snapping pop, and now I could hear something like voices accompanying it. Voices talking, laughing, shouting, and that POP! POP! POP!

    Spring Training camps open this week. The popping sound is the satisfying smack of a ball hitting a mitt, each pop raising a little cloud of dust that hangs in the sunny air. The voices ring across sun-drenched infields, as the players regrouping after the long winter layoff greet each other, and catch up, and greet newcomers, and rehash the winter's changes to their teams. There are smaller voices, too: kids of all sizes, wearing their chosen team's colors are proudly as any medieval knight's heraldry, shouting to their heroes from the bleachers, clutching the chain-link fences around the practice fields, hoping for a glimpse of thier favorite pitcher or catcher or early-arriving fielder and slugger.

    It's February still; I know that. The river is still full of ice, I know there's a storm coming tomorrow, and arctic air to follow. The leaves won't be green here for another three months. But winter's back has broken, and that's all that counts.
    Last edited by VTSoxFan; 02-15-2006, 05:18 AM.
    --Annie
    Be civil to all, sociable to many, familiar with few, friend to one, enemy to none. -Benjamin Franklin, statesman, author, and inventor (1706-1790)
    Remember Yellowdog
    ABNY

  • #2
    Annie, that was beyoooooooooodeeful, as always. Many thanks!
    Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting. 2007-11 CBA
    Rest very peacefully, John “Buck” O'Neil (1911-2006) & Philip Francis “Scooter” Rizzuto (1917-2007)
    THE BROOKLYN DODGERS - 1890 thru 1957
    Montreal Expos 1969 - 2004

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    • #3
      Sniffle....

      Annie, please write a book.
      Varitek=Future Red Sox Manager
      Boston Boxer - a Real Hero

      Comment


      • #4
        I wish I had your eloquence. Beautifully written.
        SOUVENEZ-VOUS LES EXPOS!!!
        "The future's uncertain and the end is always near" - Jim Morrison

        Comment


        • #5
          In recognition of the beauty of this game and the anxiousness that comes along with spring training, I had to wear my 1982 Cardinals Cooperstown jersey today. It felt good throwing it over my back this morning. It was similar to how the parched earth of the southwest welcomes any invitation of rain. It is sooooo interesting listening to your story Annie because out here, in Albuquerque - the high desert - we are praying for any type of precipitation to fall from the sky. The winds are kicking up desert dirt, and all we want is some rain ... or snow. Yet, the way that this winter has been, opening day wil be here before rain will.

          It does feel good to know that baseball season is on its way. Sometimes I feel like a kid that's been dreaming about Six Flags all winter and is about to go through the gates for the first time. Excitement. I'm convinced: baseball is a pychoactive drug. Probably one of the purest medical miracles that cures mild depression, severe depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety and any other psychological deterrant that oppresses ones spirit when the "off-season" gives us football/basketball challenged sports fans nothing to truly deal with our addiction.

          I'm hoping that the popping sound that you so eloquently eluded to is nothing more than Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan working with the highly promising yet consistently disappointing Sidney Ponson. I focus my minds energy, practicing creative visualization, guiding Ponson's arm in the fluid motion that assures accuracy and efficiency. I hope it works.

          Comment


          • #6


            Spring fills the air
            If the Pro Bowl has come and gone, the bobsledders are loosening up in Torino and your wife's Valentine bouquet is blooming in your living room, you know what that means:

            Yep. No more Miguel Tejada trade rumors. No more GM candidates lining up to interview in Boston, Cincinnati or Chavez Ravine. No more sleepless nights, wondering which teams will win the bidding war for Vic Darensbourg and Keiichi Yabu.

            In other words, the biggest headline of the week is that the most excruciating sector of the baseball year -- known in some parts of the world as "the offseason" -- can now, finally, be located only in our rearview mirrors.
            Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting. 2007-11 CBA
            Rest very peacefully, John “Buck” O'Neil (1911-2006) & Philip Francis “Scooter” Rizzuto (1917-2007)
            THE BROOKLYN DODGERS - 1890 thru 1957
            Montreal Expos 1969 - 2004

            Comment


            • #7
              Just being myself, I have to ask if the popping sound of balls into the mit are the sweetest sound, or is it the ball popping off of wood that is the sweetest sound. Maybe it is the sound of anxious fans standing in line getting ready to buy beer (why must I be on the field level to buy guinness!:grouchy ).

              I'm in a silly mood ... but I do acknowledge that the ball hitting ANY glove is sooooooo sweet.

              Comment


              • #8
                Great stories everyone.

                For me,the champagne has finally dried up,the confetti has finally been swept up,and finally,we have the most wonderful sounds since the 1st bottles of champagne were popped last October.

                Only this 'pop' that I hear,are those of the ball popping the mitts,as they get broke in for the 1st time.

                Nothing like seeing the 1st breath of Spring.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by VTSoxFan
                  This morning I scuffed through snow to get the daily paper, and skimmed through the sports section stuffed with news about skiing and skating. But then I heard something -- something besides the chickadees singing "Hi sweetie!", or the murmur of the ice-choked river a quarter mile away.

                  I heard winter's back breaking.

                  It makes a sound that's hard to hear at first: a muffled intermittant popping sound. I listened harder, and the popping became louder and more distinct. A sharp, snapping pop, and now I could hear something like voices accompanying it. Voices talking, laughing, shouting, and that POP! POP! POP!

                  Spring Training camps open this week. The popping sound is the satisfying smack of a ball hitting a mitt, each pop raising a little cloud of dust that hangs in the sunny air. The voices ring across sun-drenched infields, as the players regrouping after the long winter layoff greet each other, and catch up, and greet newcomers, and rehash the winter's changes to their teams. There are smaller voices, too: kids of all sizes, wearing their chosen team's colors are proudly as any medieval knight's heraldry, shouting to their heroes from the bleachers, clutching the chain-link fences around the practice fields, hoping for a glimpse of thier favorite pitcher or catcher or early-arriving fielder and slugger.

                  It's February still; I know that. The river is still full of ice, I know there's a storm coming tomorrow, and arctic air to follow. The leaves won't be green here for another three months. But winter's back has broken, and that's all that counts.
                  Very nicely put!!

                  If I may quote another baseball fan -
                  "11 For now the winter is past;
                  the rain has ended and gone away.

                  12 The blossoms appear in the countryside.
                  The time of singing has come,
                  and the turtledove's cooing is heard in our land.

                  13 The fig tree ripens its figs;
                  the blossoming vines give off their fragrance.
                  Arise, my darling.
                  Come away, my beautiful one."


                  This is from the Song of Solomon, Chpt 2.
                  HoF broadcaster Ernie Harwell would start the first game of the year with this quote every year. Spring is truly here as baseball is upon us.

                  (actually, I guess I am quoting God, but God is a baseball fan.
                  Baseball is in the Bible:
                  - In the Big Inning . . .
                  - Eve stole first, Adam stole second.

                  Stand back for the lightening bolt! I am probably going straight to Hell, aren't I?! )
                  1968 and 1984, the greatest ever.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Nope, you're okay. There's another quote in the Bible, that my mom found: "The field is the world."

                    I am in a good mood this morning. The weather is unusually warm, and the ballplayers are gathering.
                    --Annie
                    Be civil to all, sociable to many, familiar with few, friend to one, enemy to none. -Benjamin Franklin, statesman, author, and inventor (1706-1790)
                    Remember Yellowdog
                    ABNY

                    Comment

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