Baseball Love

By Mike Johnson

By the age of eight, baseball & I had advanced from infatuation, to passion, to deep & helpless love. This wasn’t just a summer thing.

I’d fall asleep in my mitt & awaken breathing leather, with “Rawlings” imprinted on my face.

If it hadn’t been for hormones, my Christmas card signature would’ve been “Mike & Mantle” or “Mike & Maris” instead of “Mike & Margie.”

Even today, I can short-hop a grounder on the run & launch a chest-high rope to the first baseman.

I haven’t actually proved this in eight years, but it’s a certainty in my mind.

It’s easy to drift away from the things we love.

Responsibility & obligation become habit. Habits become grooves. Grooves restrict focus so all we see is what we habitually see.

And we forget everything outside that groove.

Even the things we love.

To break the pattern, spend a little time with the kid you used to be.

He remembers what you love.

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Some of my other baseball "love letters"

"The Day We Nearly Bought The Field of Dreams"

"What I Learned Batting Against a Hall-of-Famer"

"Handle Time Travel With Kid Gloves"

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