The baseball season just started, as usual two weeks before the weather turns warm in the Northeast and Midwest. But it’s here. It’s a time to feel the optimism of the season when we can dream that our favorite team might make it to the top this year, or at least get our hopes up with a nice run to the playoffs.
The opening of baseball season is also a wonderful opportunity for all of us to lower our stress levels. Instead of spending all that time reading about the primaries or watching the news, you can do what I plan to do—read the sports section and watch a game now and then. I am sure there is some research somewhere that proves that watching baseball compared to the news extends life by lowering stress and also decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s. It’s as likely as some of the other claims in the media, and I think we would all be better offer spending more time worrying about who is the starting first baseman on our favorite team and less time worrying about who is first in the polls.
Baseball plays a role in our retirement plans. This summer, we start our quest—well, my quest with Judy supporting it—to visit all the major league ballparks I have not been to. I have been to 13 current ballparks and so have 17 to go. We will be seeing games in San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle this summer—all nice places to visit. It is important to have goals.
The photo above is from game 2 of the 2005 American League championship season. You may recognize the tall left hander in the photo—Barak Obama, then an Illinois State Senator and White Sox fan. He threw out the first pitch that day and the Sox went on to win the next 8 games and the first World Series in Chicago since 1917. It was a great moment for me, one I didn’t think would actually ever happen.
This year there is considerable excitement about the Cubs’ chances. I do hope for the sake of all my relatives and friends who are Cubs fans that their time will come soon, too. Of course, I can’t help myself and hope that the Cubs and Sox might actually meet in the World Series, and the outcome will be the same as when they last met – that was 1906 for all of you who are history-impaired – where the team that was a heavy underdog managed to win it all. So good luck to all you Cubs fans, and to everyone else, baseball trumps politics.