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My Heaven called: Major League Baseball

Every year right about this time I get the same feeling. The same feeling I got as a young man on the dawn of my first game of the year. Getting up early Saturday morning, just before the sun had risen. The smell of the crisp spring air, the dew on the sharp blades of grass, the smell of my dirty leather mitt, the old crusted mud on my cleats, and the feel of the stitches on a brand new baseball. It was the dawn of a new season, and a dawn of a new beginning. The day we all start off in first place with the hopes of making it to the championship. I am 35 years old, and it has been 9 years since I have stepped foot on a baseball diamond. Even so, I still get the same tingling in my stomach for the game that is more a passion to me, and almost as important as food or water. When I played, I forgot about everything going on around me in the world. As a child, the everyday worries about getting my home work done and avoiding eating my vegetables, and as an adult, not worrying about work, paying the bills, or pissing off my ex-wife. Today represents a new chapter in the never-ending novel called baseball; in which the old are introduced to the new, and the new introduced to the old. There will be many stories told during the season that may have been read before, and like every year, a new chapter will be added to the story.

The game of baseball does not discriminate against people based on height, weight, age, speed, agility, and these days race. If you can hit a baseball, throw a baseball, or catch a baseball, the game will find a place for you. What role you have is not determined by your 40 time, but if you can run, baseball will find a place for you. If you are nearly 50 years of age and considered over the hill, if you can play, baseball will find a place for you. If you have no overwhelming talents in either category, but you are a professor of the game, baseball will find a place for you. I challenge anyone to find a game outside of slow pitch softball that can boast the same.

Many Pro-sports leagues tout that they have the best athletes, and they are the most difficult to play. I will challenge any athlete from any sport to stand in against a 100 MPH fastball, an exploding 90 MPH slider, or a mind bending 12 to 6 curve. I challenge those sports to play 6 days a week for 6 months, and see what kind of shape they are in. Bare in mind, most people work a 5 day work week for 40 hours. Pro ball players play, practice, and travel almost 70 hours a week. That is a grueling 6 month stretch, not to mention if they play in October.

The images of the grass, the box seats , the bleachers, the parks, the lights, the umpires, the coaches, the players, the vendors working the seats, the peanut shells crushed under our feet, and the sun rising to its peak are all the images I will need in my heaven called, Major League Baseball!

Owner and creator of Major League Fantasy Sports. We will provide you with the best tools to be successful in your leagues no matter if it's daily, seasonal, or expert driven!



  1. 65mustangs

    April 4, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Awesome article. I can still remember the smells. The mitt, the bat, the resin, the dust in the infield and the way your hands smelled for hours after taking off the glove. And I have to remember farther back then you Corey, as I am at that age you called “over the hiill”. That ‘s ok though, like you said, you are never too old to love this game of ours. And Fantasy Baseball was invented so we could still play with and trade our baseball cards as adults. I’m sure we all made teams out of our cards and found a way to score a season and make trades. The web made it even more fun. Too bad we can’t smell a broken in mitt through the computer screen.

  2. Corey D Roberts

    April 4, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Ditto Joe. I still make it to the batting cage when ever possible so I still have that smell ingrained in me. I get jess out to toss with me once in a while in the spring/summer time. I can still hear my great grandfather, with his Italian accent, cursing at the TV watching the Redsox play. Those memories I miss and will never forget. R.I.P. Vincenzo Nemi.

  3. Phantise

    April 4, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Great job. Love it.

  4. 65mustangs

    April 5, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Man, you are digging up memories for me this week. I remember, in 1973, I was watching a game with my Dad between the Yanks and Orioles. It was early in the season. Somewhere around the 5th inning or so I said, “Dad, I havn’t seen Jim Palmer hit yet. Belanger just got on first, and now Paul Blair is up again.” He told me I must have missed it or they hit for Palmer already. I insisted that he didn’t bat before that, nor did the Yank’s starter (Kekich or Kline I think). He was a stubborn “old country Italian” and I was a stubborn impetuous 12 year old. That argument went on for a whole day until the paper came the next day. (No Internet then, lol) In the box scores I saw no pitchers in the lineups, but there were the letters DH next to one hitter on each team in all the AL games.

  5. Corey D Roberts

    April 5, 2012 at 9:28 am

    In reading your story I knew exactly where you were going with that. Pretty funny how we remember the small things like that and they stick with you. The only time I remember hearing my great grandfather curse was while watching the Redsox and I can remember my great grandmother giving him hell for it as she was a big time Catholic. The whiffle ball games in their back yard will always stick with me. If it went into the raspberry vineyard then it was a home-run and a quick snack! LOL

    • bsowles

      April 6, 2012 at 12:10 am

      Corey, great job in capturing the essence of the game we’ve all come to love and enjoy. You touched upon a lot of memories about Opening Day, and the exhilaration that it means to me when I hear “Play Ball” for the first time of the season. On another note, I liked your whiffle ball reference in one of your comments. I was a GREAt whiffle ball pitcher in my day lol , and had 5 effective and working pitches. That was until my arm gave out. It was no wonder my Dad was upset with me when he wanted me to take the mound in Little League play, and I had nothing left in the tank because my arm was shot from extensive whiffle ball playing. Great stuff!

  6. Corey D Roberts

    April 7, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    I loved playing whiffle ball as a kid. I remember when I was very little we used a this huge red bat to hit the ball, and as I got older we started using this skinny yellow bat that looked like a tooth pick. I have the majority of those memories at my grandfathers (Roger Libby) home. We would play for hours on end, and when everyone else wanted to stop playing I harped on them until they gave in and kept playing. Those were the days!

    • 65mustangs

      April 7, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      Man, you guys are making an old guy remember things long forgotten. My best friend VJ and I used to play Whiffle Ball all summer in my back yard. Usual rules, past the pitcher on the ground, single, in the air, double, if it landed just right in the flower bed by the shed, triple, and over the fence by the shed a HR. He was always the Mets and I was always the Yanks of the mid 70’s. He’d be Tom Seaver pitching to Mickey Rivers, Willie Randolph, Chris Chambliss, Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Lou Piniella, Roy White, Graig Nettles and Bucky Dent. Then I’d be Ron Guidry or Catfish Hunter pitching to Felix Millan, Ed Kranepool, Cleon Jones, Dave Kingman, Rusty Staub, Wayne Garrett, Jerre Grote, Bud Harrelson. If I got in trouble I brought in Goose Gossage or Sparky Lyle. If he did, it was Tug Mcgraw or Bob Apodaca. We made fun of some of the funny names on the Mets like Don Hahn, Buzz Capra, Dave Schneck and Duffy Dyer who never amounted to anything, and some brash young kid named Bobby Valentine. An aging Joe Torre was on the Mets back then too, and of course Willie Mays. Kingman would hit towing shots over the shed if Catfish left one up too high. The ball would split so many times that we’d tape it until it was too heavy to use anymore. Sometimes, Roy White would run to the shed and climb the fence to snare a long fly before it went over. Roy White was my favorite Yankee as I got his autograph one day in 1969 at my first Yankee Game. He smiled at me and patted me on the head while I sat on my father’s shoulders. Later, in the game, I watched him climb the left field wall to rob a homer from some player on the Indians. I saw him make that same play so many times both in Yankee Stadium and in my back yard.

      • bsowles

        April 8, 2012 at 2:18 am

        Joe, nice story and memories about the whiffle ball days. I think as young aspiring ballplayers, we all played out our fantasies on a backyard whiffle ball field. I particularly enjoyed your description of the “ground rules” – beyond the pitcher, past the flower bed, etc. We, too, kept “lineups” of our teams, and even kept stats recapped and hand-written down after the game. Oh, those were the days – indeed!

      • 65mustangs

        April 8, 2012 at 11:38 am

        One final aside: I grew up in Stratford, CT. The Whiffle Ball Company is in Shelton, CT, which is the next town over. Growing up we just figured that it was only a CT thing, until I was older and discovered that it was a world wide phenomenon. However, to this day, every Whiffle Ball and bat sold in the world comes from this little brick building in Shelton. The story came full circle, when, as a 40 year old man, the CPA firm I worked for sent me to Whiffle Ball to review their books to do financial statements and their tax return. They gave me a tour of the small facility and I watched in amazement as thousands of those little balls that we spent so many hours whacking around the yard came shooting out of the assembly line and popped into those red, white and black boxes and crated for shipping. As you can imagine, the lobby is a Whiffle Ball museum with pictures of ballplayers, etc. There are even Whiffle Ball Tournaments, Whiffle Ball Stadiums and a Whiffle Ball World Series.

  7. bsowles

    April 8, 2012 at 2:29 am

    Sorry, I meant my repply to be in response to what Corey wrote, with an “atta boy” to Joe, also.

  8. Harry Rowley

    January 8, 2013 at 11:08 pm

  9. Corey D Roberts

    January 8, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    What is 2 for 1 wise harry?

  10. Corey D Roberts

    March 24, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Reblogged this on Major League Fantasy Sports and commented:

    My opening day piece. I figure from year to year I will bring it back for others to love or hate.

  11. bsowles

    March 25, 2013 at 3:31 am

    Nice piece, Corey, which really captures the essence of the stsrt of the baseball season. I’m working on s similar piece most likely titled “Opening Day” which, in some aspects, mirrors your observations, albeit from somewhat a different perspective at times. Stay tuned, and thanks again for posting.

  12. Corey D Roberts

    March 25, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Thanks Bill. If you want to upload that to the blog feel free to do so. If you want I can re-blog it. I think you up loaded it last year. I was leaving that spot open for one of the writers this Sunday which is why I posted mine a little early.

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