My love for the game motivates me to travel in a pilgrimage to further understand what baseball means to people and its role in American Culture. Certain things in baseball remind me of certain parts of my life. And, I can trace it back to my childhood, when I first knew about this perfect game. I call it my baseball awakening. I can clearly remember games that were played decades ago. But, for me, it feels like it happened last week. “There are places I remember. All my life though some have changed” – The Beatles.
Baseball means different things for different people. Yet, its never failed to bring peace and joy to all, regardless of what happens outside the lines. For me, its more than just a sport. It’s a dream that never dies, an everlasting thread. But, when you unravel it, you discover it leads to something greater than any one person who ever played the game. It tells the story of us. For me, It transcends time. In the Ken Burns Baseball Documentary, He depicts baseball in a ride through American History, just as he did with his films on the Civil War and on Jazz. The mother of Ken Burns died when he was 11 years old. He recalls that there never was a time when he did not know that his mother was sick. His father in law, a Psychologist, once told him his work was an attempt to make people long gone come back to life.
Beneath statistics and game observations, there is the universal story of a boyhood dream to play in the big leagues. My childhood hero was Roberto Clemente. I was 6 years old when he died in that airplane accident. In the study of human behavior, a child’s self awareness, meaning the ability to tune into one’s emotions, thoughts, and actions, begins to develop from the time of birth to the age of 4-5 years old. I’ve had baseball dreams for as long as I can remember. Roberto Clemente is one of my first memories. His passing left a huge void in the millions of lives he touched. I’m one. My sense of loss has grown over the years. I reach to know more about him, also in an attempt to bring him back to life. He left us all way too young. But, his 38 years in this world contains volumes of lessons in life that are timeless. “Any time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on Earth,” – Roberto Clemente.