The boys of (not quite) summer

Mar. 10, 2013 @ 06:42 AM

It may be hard to believe, but as we battle frigid temperatures and whirling winds, it’s baseball season. And with baseball season comes a huge shift in gears for me and sports fans alike.

Instead of cramming yourself into a cramped, stuffy high school gym, it’s time to dust of your lawn chairs and find a good spot behind home plate.

Pregame warm-up soundtracks featuring carefully-edited versions of the latest hip hop tracks are being replaced with classic Lynyrd Skynyrd and good ol’ boy country music.

No longer will we have coaches in dress shirts and ties screaming at officials over a missed foul call. Instead we’ll have docile, tobacco-chewing men getting angry enough to go nose-to-nose with an umpire because he knows his kid got under the tag at home plate.

It’s hard to adjust right now, mainly because the latest weather conditions feel more like we should be watching late-season football, but once the the temperatures rise and we can put away the blanket and gas heaters, baseball will be in full swing and I’ll be ready to put a handful of sunflower seeds in my mouth.

If anyone is excited about the warmer temperatures and the time change we all had to make at 2 a.m., it’s me. Once that all happens I’ll be sitting amongst the people in my Carolina Panthers lawn chair as opposed to the press box. I hate watching baseball through a window when I can sit on the ground, hear the players bantering in the dugout, smell the grass and feel the energy of the spectators.

Until then however, I’ll be sitting next to the public address announcer enjoying a little extra heat.

And the best thing about it for us baseball lovers, we’ll have all kinds of it to enjoy through August.

High school baseball kicks it all off with the start to their season, but once they finish they’ll move onto legion play and Forest City will welcome in a new bunch of Owls to bless the county with Coastal Plain League baseball for two-pus months. Not to mention the frenzy of youngsters playing their summer away with little league ball.

So get used to hardball for a while. Find those lawn chairs and stock up on sunflower seeds and bubble gum. Find that old glove and bring it out to the ballpark in hopes of catching one of those elusive foul balls. Some places may want you to return them, but hey, I won’t tell if you don’t.