Baseball is not a popular sport in Singapore but we know what it is because of Hollywood movies that range from cheesy ones with dogs that can catch to the movie that I watched on my plane ride to DC: “42”.
“42” tells the story of Jackie Robinson who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball. I may be biased because my life experience has made me a little tender towards any stories that tell a story of discrimination, but I would recommend it to those who haven’t watched it or those, who like me, would have avoided watching baseball movies if not for the fact that I was terribly bored on my 20+ hour journey. Aside from the emotional story, that movie also got me interested in baseball and its rules particularly because the legendary player in the movie played quite interestingly.
So, when the opportunity came for me to watch a game with fellow exchange students, organized by the Office for Study Abroad, I was totally up for it. The Office also kindly arranged for an after-school session of learning how to play baseball so that “noobs” like us could actually understand what would be happening on game day.
Game day itself was an experience. It was different from watching baseball on the television or in the movies. From where I was, I couldn’t really see the dust being kicked off the ground. The huge mega screen showing replays from various angles, the crowd’s cheers and the music was what helped me guess what was going on. The Nationals led initially, but were very inefficient in that they had twice as many people on the base than they had number of runs. (My attempt at reporting what happened during the game may not be interesting).
I am very much used to the faster paced soccer games (that’s football by the way) but I enjoyed sitting in the cold and guessing “balls” from “strikes”. There was much less activity (it may be that it was not a particularly interesting baseball game) and I prefer playing it myself than just watching, but the slow pace meant that any good hit that propelled the ball up in the air guaranteed a little excitement, a small urge to witness a home run and I would edge a little bit off my seat. If it wasn’t a magical hit, I would just sigh and sit back down, continue eating my fries, mutter how I could swing the bat better and make small talk about how cold it was sitting all the way up. If it was a good hit, especially a home run, even if it was an error by those on the field, I would, for a few seconds, become a baseball fan.