First you gotta have heart

Today was a cold and wintry day in Illinois, and even more so up north in Wisconsin. My teenager had a skating competition up that way, which involved a drive of a couple of hours in the general direction of Fond du Lac. I captured a pretty view along the way, and had a couple of other adventures which I may write about if time allows some day, but for now one story jumps immediately to my mind.

On a snowy winter’s day, my thoughts will often turn to Spring, which invariably means baseball. So how does one get baseball to pierce through the snow and the cold? My weapon of choice was the soundtrack to Damn Yankees, which I saw on Broadway nearly two decades ago. Now where exactly has all of that time gone?

The show feeds into a theme that I’ve explored here earlier, which is that baseball–more than any other sport–lends itself to artistic interpretation and expression. I was very much surprised to recently learn that “Take me out to the ballgame“–which is as much a part of the baseball experience as eating hot dogs at the game–was written by two men who had never actually been to a ball game before. Talk about irony! And yet there it is, an integral part of baseball, more than a century after it was first written.

While a Broadway musical about baseball isn’t terribly surprising, one written about any other sport would be. And as I listened to the songs and followed the story through to its conclusion, I found myself once again thinking of the Spring days that are just around the corner. I couldn’t have had a better way to help pass the time

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