Everyone wants to get out there and pitch that perfect curveball, or hit the first home run of the game.
The air is rich with the scent of hotdogs as the vendors go to work feeding the masses. Young barmen and women do their best to satisfy thousands of thirsts filling endless plastic glasses with ice-cold beer. For some, a freshly baked pretzel is the way to go, plenty of salt and mustard, and a soda to wash it down. The wonderful mixture of odours in the air adds to the atmosphere and anticipation before the game. There's nothing quite like it.
The stands are full of activity as everybody swarms to their seats. Not long until game time now. A hundred little boys hold on tightly to daddy's hand still not sure quite what to expect at their first ball game. They can feel the excitement building all around them and it is a new sensation. Although they may not know it they are beginning to understand the love of the game.
Once full the ballpark is a magnificent picture of color and excitement. Music blares from the powerful sound system and adds to the already breathtaking atmosphere. Many fans are dressed in the shirts of their favorite teams. Others proudly wear their team's jacket, some just stick to the cap. The signs and banners are everywhere around the stadium held up high for all to see. Some of them simply display the name of a team; others send messages to the players wishing them luck in the game ahead.
As the players make their way onto the park the stadium erupts with noise as so many thousands cheer, whoop and whistle for their favorite team and player. The sound is almost deafening but at the same time truly awesome. Everyone is on their feet knowing that all that stands between them and the first pitch of the game is a unifying rendition of the national anthem. Hands on hearts, the song brings everyone within the stadium together as it does every time. Even opposing fans are best of friends at this moment, proud to be American.
The game starts and the crowd begins to settle down and enjoy the spectacle. The tension builds as several pitches fizz past the bat and smack into the heavily padded glove of the catcher. It's not long until the batter makes the first satisfying contact and the wonderful sound of bat on ball reverberates around the park. It is the sound that the fans love to hear, and to see the ball fly over the fence just makes it even better. Devout fans are pleased to be able to mark a home run on their scorecards, scorecards which they will no doubt show their children in years to come.
The excitement of the final few innings is almost unmatched by any other game. Even after hours of play the crowd are once again on their feet yelling words of encouragement and willing their team to finish the job. Then it is over. The winner is decided and it is time to go home. As the stands gradually empty there is a feeling of satisfaction around the ballpark, even from among the supporters of the losing team. They have had their dose of the game, and nothing can take that away.
Empty now, the ballpark stands and waits. It has done its job once again, providing a home away from home for the baseball fan. For now it rests, but soon its gates will open once again and the people will come. Baseball, what a