When I learned of major league baseball players using steroids I really didn’t care. My view of the sport ultimately remained unchanged until I started throwing baseballs for my son to hit. Almost every fathers dream is to have their child be successful at something and live a happy life. As my son was doing amazingly well at hitting I imagined him playing professional baseball. I pictured him with a big smile as he stepped up to the plate to face a grizzly looking veteran pitcher. Then I pictured some of the big names of baseball and how they perceive the game.
I imagine at that level baseball must become un-enjoyable. As I grew up as a kid I loved baseball and I played as often as I could. I played on a team, I played in the street and I even started a men’s softball team when I got older. There is no better feeling then being on the field when the sun is setting and the hot summer day is beginning to cool and all that is left of the bright sun is a reddish haze. The feeling of freedom from bills, work and everyday life. There is a calmness associated with baseball that doesn’t transcend to other sports that are faster paced. I imagined my son sitting on a bench and enjoying the greatness of baseball. Then I thought about the competitive edge of pro ball and the pressure that these players must face.
Baseball is supposed to be America’s past time, pure, clean and innocent. It is supposed to represent the fun and joy of life. The rounding of bases and the dirt from sliding are supposed to be reminders that life can be fun and that we can get dirty as adults. It shouldn’t be about drugs and hiding from something. It shouldn’t be about players hiding behind closed doors. I don’t want to know anything about that. I want the players to smile and enjoy every free minute they have. After thinking about all the problems of baseball I felt ashamed to even associate my son with professional baseball. I wouldn’t want him to feel this kind of pressure. I thought baseball was supposed to be fun. My smile has gone for I know now I don’t want my son to play professional sports.