I miss the sun being up when it was past six o'clock. I miss the warm weather.
I miss baseball. I miss watching baseball. I miss leaving school and thinking about who's starting for the Mets that night. I want to think about stats. I want to think about which players are doing well and which need to step up their game. I want to know who has a hitting streak and who hasn't gotten a hit in a week. I'm ready to feel the heartbreak of a walk-off loss and the relief of a close victory. I'm ready to be furious about a blown save and ecstatic about a home run. I will always want to go to bed thinking about a baseball game, good or bad.
I miss softball. I miss playing softball. I miss the uneven steps of the walk to the field because I'm wearing cleats. I want to pick a softball and have a catch. I want to be the catcher that warms up the pitcher. I want to catch the first pitch of the game. I'm ready to go back to practice. I'm ready to be sore the day after I catch a full game. I will always be willing to go right back out there the next day.
I love watching baseball after I've played softball. I love seeing the catcher block a pitch in the dirt and knowing I did the same thing. I love seeing a first baseman scoop a low throw and recognizing just how hard it really is. I love that I've played the game in the rain and the cold and sweltering sun. I have slid in safely at third base and brushed the dirt off my uniform when I got up. I have missed a pitch in the dirt and scrambled to it, going as fast as I can in all of the catcher's gear. I have hit a line drive down the right field line and sprinted to second base. I have also struck out looking and jammed my bat into the ground.
There is so much of the game that I've experienced that it holds a place in my heart nothing else will ever fill. In about six weeks Spring Training will start and I'll really start to want to have a catch and play again. We all miss the game. Whether we've played or not we all experienced it somehow and it's right about now that we all probably miss it the most.