Baseball, a sure sign of spring

Published 10:34 am Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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Basketball is still being played…and there is a forecast of snow showers later this week, but, it’s also baseball season, a sure sign of spring. While this week’s weather forecast might lead you to think otherwise, you can rest assured that spring began in mid-March.

High school and college baseball games are being played every week as are Major League games. Yes, the NCAA basketball tournament is also being played, which means basketball season is almost over.

Of the many sure signs of spring that we seek every year, the return of baseball always proves to be the most reliable. 

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Just as sure as the daffodils, redbud and dogwood trees blooms in the spring, out come the softballs and baseballs, and for many it is that time of year to get back into shape.

Moving forward means it’s time to take advantage of sunny and warm April days to take a walk in the downtown parks and on walking trails along the river, as well as doing some walking and biking on the Tweetsie Trail.

But, for many, a world without daily sports is misery. It keeps a lot of people young and definitely gives them something to do. For many, baseball means spring.

Since the pandemic, fans have returned to baseball in a way we didn’t see for several years before the season was cut short. Fans returned to stadiums and droves, but more importantly, they were sitting down and watching the games at home.

Now some might say fans in the stands are more important than those at home. Ratings have been up for the playoffs, World Series, and more importantly, regular season games. Part of it has to do with fans missing baseball during the pandemic, but aficionados have come back to baseball because it is exciting again for once.

A generation of stars has been at the forefront of a movement, trying to make baseball more fun with campaigns such as “Let the Kids Play.” Also bringing local excitement to the game is that one of Elizabethton’s own, Evan Carter, sparked the Texas Rangers to a World Series Championship last year and is back on the field this year.

The superstar level baseball is experiencing is at an all-time high. With this season starting, it is a safe bet to assume more young superstars will start to come out of the woodwork in the ever-changing landscape.

This baseball season is one of changes, which include an even shorter pitch clock, a wider lane for runners going to first base, and more rules affecting pitchers. Last season introduced a pitch clock, which gave pitchers a limited amount of time to throw the next ball. This year’s pitch time is even shorter. Previously, pitchers had slightly more time when a runner was on base to throw the next pitch – a full 20 seconds, whereas they only had 15 seconds if no runners were on base. Now, pitchers will only have 18 seconds to throw the next ball with runners on base.

Just as every sport has its rules, it has its own set of fans, and season. And, it just so happens that springtime announces baseball, which will linger into the fall season.

Spring is the season of new beginnings, and baseball is a good way to begin the spring season.