Innocent of the game’s history, sociology, or metaphysics, I learned my baseball in the late 1950′s the old-fashioned way: sitting beside my grandfather Weigel in the lower deck of Baltimore’s cavernous old Memorial Stadium, in the days when the Orioles seemed to have taken out a 99-year lease on sixth place in the American League.
You did not have to buy tickets six months in advance, or cadge them from a friendly corporate public-affairs officer, in that simpler age. Nor were you likely to have your beer (or, in my case in 1959, your popcorn or your Coke) knocked over by some broker’s portable-phone antenna. Creature comforts were not much prized, either. “The stadium,” as everybody called it, had no “luxury boxes”; indeed, in the lower reserved section, and throughout the upper deck and bleachers, it had no seats, period—just wooden benches, against whose splinters we protected ourselves by buying an Evening Sun as a cushion on the way into the park.
About the Author
George Weigel is a senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. and the author most recently of God’s Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church (HarperCollins).