Baseball is a wonderful, magical and systematic sport. I attended my first game alone recently and all the things I loved about the game really sharpened in my mind’s eye. The game is so simple, ball and bat, and yet the game is won in the details.
Baseball math really came into light for me when the movie Moneyball came out, but as I learned about it, it was hard not to see how elegant the mathematics were. If any one player chooses to stand closer to the right instead of the left the other team could score. If the pitcher doesn’t read the hitter and throw just right he could find himself handing out a home run. It’s all so marginal.
The fans are amazing. There are so many teams that are historically terrible and yet they have a devoted following and if you just sit and listen at a game it almost feels like even the hecklers have been working out gaming strategies to help their team.
As I sat there I could feel the energy in the stadium. It wasn’t a particularly packed evening but the weather was nice, there was a slight breeze and you could smell the grass. Before every pitch and hit, the home team made there was a thick atmosphere of anticipation created by the many hopefuls praying, begging and yearning for the better outcome. It’s all very peaceful. I found myself drifting into this comforting white noise of all the chatting fans, announcers, and boisterous vendors. It was beautiful. The lights on the green field and all the boys in uniform…the whole experience was soothing.