A wonder-filled game

September 27, 2012

The ballpark anthem is true. We are young. And there is no place like the ballpark, and no people like its young people, to remind us that.

To paraphrase Peter Pan, we are young as long as we wonder. At the ballpark, wonder is contagious.

It’s on the face of a “Hardy’s Heroes” kid the second he steps through the gate. “Just wait until you go in,” an attendant tells him.

It’s in 30,000 pairs of ears as a 10-year-old sings spellbinding renditions of two national anthems, Baltimore fans’ multiple “O!” chants and the whirring of a Shock Trauma helicopter seemingly welcome accompaniments.

It’s in the prodigy’s giddy embrace of the Oriole Bird immediately after concluding her performance.

It’s on the 20-something’s tongue as he takes his first sips of Natty Boh.

It’s in the rookie third baseman’s swagger as he struts around the bases, again, his second two-homer game of the year helping ignite a record team slugfest.

It’s in the leaps of another rookie’s family member as she scurries down the seating bowl for a better glimpse of his first major league at bat, a half inning after the scoreboard announced him as the organization’s minor league player of the year.

It’s in that rookie’s texting thumbs as he tweets a greeting to fans, who extended a rousing ovation after that first plate appearance, a groundout to short.

It’s in me.

It’s in you.

It’s in baseball. A wonderful game. A wonder-filled game.

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