Swing and a Miss

    I’m like Cinderella, I always run away from the ball

    Thomas DeLapp

    More stories from Thomas DeLapp

    Swing and a Miss
    May 10, 2023

    Photo by Marisa Valdez

    Baseball: the quintessential American sport. The great American pastime. “The Toyota Camry of sports,” comedian John Mulaney allegedly once said. 

    There’s a sense of 20th century romanticism around baseball. The promise of the American community, of camaraderie, tradition and tossing back hot diggity dogs like there’s no tomorrow. 

    I don’t care for baseball. 

    I have to be honest! I have journalistic integrity to uphold. Baseball is boring. I do not enjoy sitting for hours in the hot sun, watching a game in which nothing really happens. They hit the ball sometimes and usually someone catches it. Hooray. 

    I usually have an okay time while I’m at a game, I’ll admit, but it’s not because of the sport. I like watching the audience. People. Are. Weird. And there’s a lot of people in one place for sports games.

    All across the nation, folks in baseball stands are doing just the most bonkers things. Dropping mustard and relish on the people in front of them. Spilling beers. Yelling inappropriate things at the players. Breaking up on the Kiss Cam. 

    It’s unhinged. Put a bunch of dads in one sweaty stadium in the middle of July, stick a warm Bud Light in their hands and let them go wild.

    Maybe the reason why I think baseball is so boring is because I spent my entire baseball-life going to Minnesota Twins games. I don’t know if they’re good or not, but they’re a Minnesota team, so I’m assuming they’re not. 

    A team doesn’t have to be good to be entertaining, though — it’s just that the Twins are kinda neither. Okay, I’m being unduly harsh. At one of the inning breaks at Target Field, they have that Minnesota Mascot Race and I love that thing so much.

    Minnesota Icons like Louie the Loon, Skeeta the Mosquito, Babe the Blue Ox, Wanda the Walleye and Bullseye the Target Dog have a footrace. It gets dramatic. One of my friends once got to be Skeeta. 

    I think most of baseball’s appeal is its nostalgia factor, as well as the culture of the team’s city. Prime example: the Chicago Cubs. My dad is a Chicago native and a rollicking, die-hard Cubbies fan. His phone background? The Cubs logo. His ringtone? An ear-shattering, high-decibel rendition of “Go Cubs Go.”

    And my dad isn’t alone in this. It seems like most Cubs fans have the same flaming passion for their home team, Wrigley Field and Chicago dogs. Baseball might just be more fun down in the Windy City. The wind might make their balls go further. More home runs or something.

    Whatever the reason, I’m glad it brings my dad so much joy and happy memories. Baseball is boring, sure. But there’s something classic about it, too. 

    Maybe it’s not even about baseball. Maybe it’s about sitting next to your friends on a warm summer day, enjoying their company, watching some guy accidentally squirt mustard all over the seats. 

    DeLapp can be reached at [email protected].