I needed sanctuary today and there wasn't a church service in sight, so I headed over to McKechnie Field to watch the boys of spring.
As Annie Savoy remarked in "Bull Durham": "I've tried 'em all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the Church of Baseball.''
Having a spring training stadium in your hometown is a pretty special deal. And McKechnie, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is a real jewel. They finally added lights last year but there are only two night games on the Buccos' home schedule this spring. Like the Cubs at Wrigley, it's just supposed be afternoons at the ballyard, ya know? In fact, the first game they tried to play at night here was rained out -- just like Wrigley in 1988. We should listen to the baseball gods.
It was cold, windy and ... spectacular. It's not often you can spend an afternoon at a park in Florida and not worry about your beer getting warm. While the Dow was sinking to its lowest close since 1997 I was gobbling a balldog, chatting with some old friends and watching the Pirates plate a run in the eighth to beat the pesky Reds 2-1.
Glorious, so glorious. My spirit is renewed.