My son and I played catch this afternoon at the neighborhood park, and it got me thinking about how perfect an object the baseball is.
With its tight red stitches and bright white cover, the baseball stands out brilliantly against a clear blue sky and against the deep green infield. The ball fits perfectly into the human hand, ready to be hurled past the batter, whipped across the infield or relayed smartly from the outfield to home plate.
It’s a joy to hear and feel the ball smack into the pocket of your mitt, and I find endless pleasure in watching the contrast of sun and shadow bisect the ball when I toss one skyward.
The balls in other sports have their charms. A football spiraling toward a receiver’s open arms is a thing of beauty. A basketball backspinning its way to the net is a thing of wonder. A soccer ball curling toward the goal is a picture of grace.
But nothing beats the baseball as it curves toward the outside corner of the plate, jumps off the bat or settles into the outstretched mitt of the streaking outfielder bringing it to earth.
No object in sport brings fathers and sons closer together, and that alone makes it the best in my book.