Call me crazy (I’d prefer old fashioned), but I feel like there’s definitely something magical about listening to a baseball game on the radio. Kind of like how the crackle from a record player can give music an instant sense of nostalgia, the same is true for anything that’s heard through fading radio reception. I’m willing to bet that even if you didn’t grow up spending summer nights listening to the crack of the bat through the airwaves, you probably still find yourself susceptible to the warm sense of sentimentality that it evokes.
What inspired this month’s challenge in the first place was a book that I read over vacation called Slow Love, by Dominique Browning. In brief, it’s a memoir about a woman who loses her job, and in essence, her identity, and is forced to confront a number of realities in her life and embark on the journey of regaining her balance (hmm sound familiar?). There’s a particular passage where she describes listening to baseball games on the radio so romantically that it had me longing to do the same.
“…Listening to games on the radio at home was a different matter. Not having the visuals when you’re a novice is a challenge. Instead of following the action, I became entranced by the symphonic quality of the sounds of a game coming over the radio: the crescendos of the crowd roaring when something exciting happened, the dissonant chords when the umpire was a blockhead, the thematic quality of most of the calls, the digressions at quieter intervals. Best of all was the counterpoint of Stroller’s [the author’s former love interest] rapid-fire commentary with that of the announcer; it was like a baseball concerto, and it washed over me in a bath of shared pleasure”.
After reading this, I realized that it was sort of a tragedy not to own a radio, so I bought one (which I had to do online because apparently they’re so antiquated that Target doesn’t even sell them anymore). When I Googled “handheld radio” a bunch of super high-tech options came up: No I don’t need GPS, no I don’t need an LED screen, I just need a radio, plain and simple. That’s when I found this little gem that I received in the mail yesterday. It weighs about 3 ounces, has a sweet hand strap, and is about as analog as it gets. I love it.
My new little friend came just in the knick of time too, because tonight begins a 3 game series against our arch rivals, the New York Yankees. You’d better believe that I’ll be out on the front porch, radio in hand, listening to the play-by-play the good ol’ fashioned way.