There is nothing that I would love more than to be at Guaranteed Rate (Comiskey) Field watching a baseball game right now.
Like many of you, this has been the case for the past month.
I long for the days of walking onto the concourse, the smell of hot dogs, and grilled onions wafting through my nose. I miss the sound of the crack of a bat as it occurs live. I wish I could sit in the bleachers again and heckle the opposing right fielder. But alas, these pipe dreams are not in the cards for the time being.
Although live baseball is not in the cards for the foreseeable future, there are a few ways to play make-believe and pretend that there is some semblance of normalcy in the world.
Here are my two favorite ways to maintain that baseball fix, even while you sit at home putting that puzzle together for the fifteenth time.
Watch the MLB The Show Player’s Tournament
If you haven’t already, might I suggest tuning into the fine content that is the MLB The Show Players League? Sure, it’s not actually live, and it is absolutely not the same as being at the ballpark, but…*HOT TAKE ALERT*…there are some elements to the tournament that are better than live baseball.
Okay, don’t get me wrong. I definitely don’t think the league is actually better than baseball. I would trade almost anything to have live baseball back. BUT! The players league gives you a view into the behind-the-scenes aspects of baseball that you don’t get to see when you are at a ballgame. You get to watch players laugh and interact with each other, all while learning what they are actually like in person.
Honestly, after the success of the inaugural players league, I would be shocked if the MLB doesn’t make this a yearly occurrence, with or without COVID-19. If you have not tuned in yet, I strongly recommend it, even for one match. They are just fun. Oh, and might I mention that Lucas Giolito is currently leading the AL Central as the White Sox? If that doesn’t sweeten the pot, I’m not sure what does.
Give Yourself a Ballpark Experience
Even in a pre-COVID world, I could not possibly tell you how many times I have re-watched my favorite White Sox moments. If I am ever having a bad day, all I have to do is go to YouTube and watch the final out of the 2005 World Series or Mark Buehrle celebrating his perfect game and my day instantly turns around. However, even with my love for these moments of White Sox lore, I have to admit that my craving for live baseball has made them lose their luster as I re-watch them over and over.
But here is a little piece of advice: take a “me day” and give yourself a full ballpark experience. Why stop at watching a re-run? Plan a day to treat yourself and make your own ballpark at home. Recently, while missing baseball, my girlfriend and I turned our apartment into Guaranteed Rate (Comiskey) Field. We donned our White Sox gear. We made brats. We cracked open a beer (or five). We watched the 2005 World Series.
Was it the same as live baseball? Of course not. But I have to tell you, watching one of my favorite moments in professional sports history all over again while smelling ballpark smells, wearing team apparel, and enjoying a beer really added an extra layer to the experience. Save this little hack for those moments you find yourself missing baseball a little extra.
So, there you have it: Two of my favorite ways to pretend everything is normal in the midst of time with absolutely no normalcy. I hope you are finding ways to keep yourself sane during this crazy time as well.
Take some time to share your tips and tricks to keep baseball fresh, as well! Sometimes, it is the little things that can make you the happiest.
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