I am not a baseball fan. So what was I doing sitting up until 2 o’clock in the morning watching game five of the World Series as the Houston Astros finally defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 13-12 in 10 innings?

I am a football fan, and I had been watching one of my favorite teams win their game. After it was over, I was flipping through the channels and I happened onto the World Series just as some player I didn’t know hit a home run with a couple of his teammates on base. The crowd was roaring, the announcers were excited, someone kept blowing a train whistle and everyone was waving orange towels.

I guess I just got caught up in the excitement. Both teams kept getting runners on base and then someone would hit a home run. The lead kept going back and forth until Houston finally won. Then no one wanted to go home! They just kept hugging each other, jumping up and down and waving their towels. They had played baseball for 5 hours and 17 minutes. I went to bed.

Then there I was again — watching Game 6 — I was hooked. There were some interesting network interviews with some of the young players that I had never heard of before. The game began, one of the Astros hit a home run (I didn’t know him either) and they took the lead. For a while, not much seemed to be happening, so I took a little nap. When I woke up, the Dodgers had taken the lead and they would go on to win a much quieter game than Game 5.

There wasn’t so much excitement and I had time to pay attention to the players. They do some different things! They seem to scratch different places, they fuss with their hats and pitchers seem to take a lot of deep breaths. The players waiting in the dugout are interesting. Some of them were chewing bubble gum and blowing bubbles. One player took a huge wad of gum from his mouth, looked at it, and then put it back in. Some of them spit out some type of seeds. One fellow seemed to be waxing his moustache. The haircuts are interesting — some of them looked like someone had partially clipped them and forgot to set the topline.

The game finally ended and the announcers kept stressing the importance of Game 7 — that it was the only game that counted. If that was the case, why didn’t they just play game seven and forget about the other six games?

Yes — I watched game seven. It was a good game, and the players gave it their all; both teams should be very proud of their accomplishments. The Houston Astros won their first World Series. They would take home the trophy and everyone was so excited. It was interesting to see the tears of joy in the eyes of those big, tough baseball players. Babies were being tossed in the air and there was a marriage proposal. She said yes! Game 7 brought out many emotions.

Years ago, we had our own baseball diamond just down the road from our farm. Every summer after church and dinner, neighbors would gather there to play baseball. The players were of all ages, from the youngest who was just learning how to play to the oldest who was still able to play. Sides were chosen. Someone was designated to be the umpire, and the game was on.

My dad loved to play baseball, and he was a left-handed first baseman. I was always told that playing first base was harder for a left-handed person than for a right-handed person. My Dad was a pretty good player and hitter and he really enjoyed those Sunday afternoons. Our neighbors had eight children — seven boys and one girl — and they were really good players, as they practiced at home. The daughter was just as good as the boys and a little faster running the bases, so she was always chosen quickly.

Everyone who didn’t play brought their lawn chairs or sat on makeshift bleachers — boards laid on cement blocks. Friends and neighbors visited and shared their news as they watched the game. The younger children played in the dirt with their trucks and farm toys or played games. Some players were really good at baseball — some were terrible — but everyone had a lot of fun. During the World Series, the many troubles of the world were forgotten, as people came together to enjoy a baseball game, just as they did on those Sunday afternoons long ago. In baseball as in life, all the important things happen at home.