When my dad was my age and wanted to check baseball scores and news, he could only do it on the TV/radio news late at night or in the newspaper. Whenever I want, I can hop online and find more information in ten minutes than he could in a whole day of reading box scores. Despite the fact that its presence in my life is pretty ubiquitous at this point, I find myself rather amazed at the fact that I have so much access to so much information that is mostly free.
Perhaps amazed isn’t the right word, though. It may be too strong because, frankly, it’s not that amazing anymore with all the advancements we’ve seen in communications/information technology in the past decade. Internet access is always expanding and there’s no shortage of content, especially in the sports field, to fill that expansion. That’s all well and good, but I guess I am used to it by now. So I guess “amazed” is the wrong word. Then what’s the right word?
The only possible word I can think of is “thankful.” I’m incredibly thankful that I have so much access to baseball, especially via new technology. I’m thankful that I can read ten different newspaper articles about the Yankees right after reading ten different blog articles from ten different sites dedicated to the Yankees. I’m thankful that I get to share my ideas with a wonderful gathering of writers and devoted readers*. I’m thankful that I can check any box score for any game going back to the freakin’ 1920′s. I’m thankful that my knowledge of the game can be expanded exponentially in a wildly small amount of time.
Another word that can’t help but cross my mind is “curious.” I’m incredibly curious as to what the future will hold. Ten years ago, did any of us think the Internet would play as big a role in our daily lives as it plays now? Did we think it was going to help change the shape of our thinking on baseball? What could possibly be next? What will my son(s) and daughter(s) have available to study this gorgeous game? Will they talk about the Internet and its delivery of baseball content the way we talk about print sources now? No matter what it is, I hope that they get the same joy out of the game as I do. I simply cannot wait to be that dad who goes on and on to his baseball fan kids about the players he saw growing up. “Forget this clown! I was there when Alex Rodriguez hit his 500th home run! What does this fool know about class?! He’s no Mariano Rivera. Yeah, sure, this guy can field but he can’t hit like Derek Jeter used to!” Thinking about the conversations I’ll have with my kids about baseball–specifically the arguments, ’cause those are the fun discussions, right?–makes me think about how my dad and I discuss baseball now.
He’s not your typical “old school” baseball guy and doesn’t fall for the lip-service analysis he reads, sees, and has in the mainstream media, but he’s not exactly an analytical fan either. I consider myself pretty analytical when it comes to the game and I wonder about how that will impact the way I teach my children to see the game. We’ve seen a different brand of fan, that analytical fan, come to the light (even if we’re not hogging the spotlight). Undoubtedly, we will influence our children’s view of baseball and who knows where it will go from there. Obviously, I have no way of knowing what’s coming that far down the road, or even in the immediate future of the next few years, but I do know one thing: I’m excited as hell for it.
*Thank you so much to all of you who check this site and others like it each and every day. I think I can speak for everyone here at TYA when I say I’m incredibly touched by the fact that you’d take even the smallest amount of time out of your day to read what some random guy on the Internet has to say about your favorite baseball team. While I’ll likely never meet most of you and likely never speak to you via any non-Internet medium, you mean a great deal to me simply because you read what I have to say.
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