Bluejay & the Redbirds

Baseball, to me, is still the national pastime because it is a summer game.  I feel that almost all Americans are summer people, that summer is what they think of when they think of their childhood.  I think it stirs up an incredible emotion within people.  ~Steve Busby, in Washington Post, 8 July 1974

It's spring. The sun begins to shine warmer and last longer. The grass grows greener and the sky seems bluer. I start to crave that white chalk diamond stripe in the red dirt of the field and sunflower seeds. It's baseball season and the birds are chirping! Bluejay is playing for the Isanti Redbirds. As someone who LOVES THEMES, I don't think he could be playing for a more appropriately named team. I love birds! Bluejay is pitching for the team along with his cousin, Kyle, who is catching. I have always had a soft spot for baseball players. I think it comes from my childhood. My older brother LOVED to collect baseball cards. The floor of his room was covered wall to wall with cards organized according to team, player, and stats except for a trail of space leading from the doorway to his bed. I thought my brother was so cool. I tried really hard to be a tomboy and understand baseball so that we could talk about it. But as it turns out, I really only liked looking at the pictures of the players on the cards. Everything about them was so fantastic. I loved the baseball hats. I loved the action shots while pitching or hitting. I loved the eye black painted on their faces. I loved the different team logos. As I grew older, I watched baseball simply because the cute players were my favorite athletes. Because I liked the baseball pants and cute butts (yes, I'll admit that to the world because I KNOW I'm not alone!). When Bluejay and I began dating his senior year at NWC, I literally had a countdown until baseball season began. My heart pounded at the thought of my Bluejay in a baseball uniform pitching no hitters. I was NOT disappointed! He threw a 94 mph fastball! It sounded like a sonic boom. And no, I'm not biased :) I was somewhat sad when the season came to a close because it was the end of his college baseball career. But we had a wedding to plan and a marriage to look forward to, so I didn't give it much thought. Earlier this spring, Bluejay ran into his old town ball coach at Starbucks and they chatted about baseball. That night, he suggested that maybe he dust of his cleats, find his glove, and pitch for the Redbirds. Visions of Bluejay in those baseball pants prompted my immediate reply, "YES PLEASE!" 

Of course I brought my camera to the season opener. And of course I used my 70-200 HUGE lens to capture the action. So I had to giggle when a fan asked if I was from the newspaper. Nope... just the pitchers dorky photographer wife. It's going to be a wonderful summer- full of all things yummy about baseball: sunshine, popcorn, peanuts and crackerjacks. My favorite part, however, will be those baseball pants and the man wearing them! Go #20!

I see great things in baseball.  It's our game - the American game.  It will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism.  Tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set.  Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us.  ~Walt Whitman

Bluejay's cousin, Kyle, talking to his grandpa through the fence. It was really cute to watch Bluejay pitch and his cousin catch!