Column by Luke Nankivell
Spring training for Major League Baseball starts this weekend. It’s one of the best Valentine’s Day gifts a true baseball fan could get.
How can you not get romantic about baseball?
The first time I heard that quote from “Moneyball,” I couldn’t help but agree. I’ve been in love with the game since I was little. I started playing tee-ball when I was five years old and even now play in a summer league back home.
I remember my first glove. I loosened it up by riding my bike over it and opening it up like it was a puppet.
I remember my first hit, that thrill of watching the ball go into the air and beating it to first base.
I remember my first game ball, after I caught my first complete game and hit the game-winning double.
I have so many memories associated with the game, whether it’s great like winning a tournament championship or unpleasant like losing by 15 runs.
Maybe that’s why I look forward to spring training so much each year. It’s a way for me to reminisce on those days.
We fans of the game look forward to the possibilities of the new season and the ultimate prize: the World Series Championship. As a Chicago Cubs fans, that ultimate prize hasn’t come around for quite some time.
But that’s what I love about each season. It’s a clean slate. You can make of it what you choose. My Cubbies have a new coaching staff and some new players. So new, in fact, that the Cubs have the third-youngest team in the MLB. The average age is 26.4 years old.
The Cubs are brimming with potential to be a contending team for years to come. Two years ago, I made a prediction that the Cubs would be a contender in the next five years.
With three years to go, I’m sticking to my prediction. I know there are people reading this who will just laugh at the idea of the Cubs being in contention for anything other than last place in the National League.
If I weren’t such a fan of The Show, I’d agree with you. But, that’s the beauty of each spring. It gives me hope.
Hope that this year will be the year. Hope that a new direction for a young team is the best thing for it. Hope that no matter what happens, fans will keep showing up to games and singing “Go Cubs Go!”
That’s why it’s America’s pastime. And that’s why it’s the greatest game in the world.
Nankivell is a junior politics and marketing double major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org