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It is designed to break your heart The game begins in spring when everything else begins again And it blossoms in the summer filling the afternoons and evenings And then as soon as the chill rains come it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone A Bartlett Giamatti the former commissioner of Major League Baseball From the lush green grass to the smell of an old leather glove baseball is truly an extraordinary game Let us look beyond the enormous salaries and free agency and examine baseball for what it really is an outstanding form of entertainment Baseball is incredibly important to me as not only have I learned an enormous amount from it I have experienced a whole spectrum of emotions during my love affair with the game I have been a baseball fan all my life I remember watching my beloved St Louis Cardinals play in their robins egg blue uniforms in the early 1980s We had a birdfeeder in our backyard and every morning the same cardinal would stop for his breakfast I named him Tommy Herr after the Cardinals second baseman at the time Tommy has long since retired but I will always remember the little bird flying in my backyard It is difficult for one to approach this subject without a sense of heroism and romanticism of its rich history One of my favorite parts of going to the ballpark is listening to the fascinating stories of old timers the men who have loved the game since childhood They remember Musial Maris and Mantle They can tell you stories of hearing Hank Aaron hitting his record breaking home run on the radio or watching Lou Gehrig as a young child Many of the greatest baseball stories can be heard from these men living encyclopedias if what the game once was and it today Someday I
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