This morning our Varsity Baseball team boarded the HPCS bus, bound for Hartsville to defend the SCACS State Championships that they won in 2014 and 2015 (pictured).
With a terrific regular-season behind them, the team stands poised to have a successful and victorious tournament. Before they left, the team was surrounded by the student body and Dr. Priest lead the group in prayer. The team plays it’s first game this afternoon at 4:00 p.m.
What is it about baseball that draws people together? In 1975, a television ad had Americans young and old singing “baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.” In 2012, Chevrolet re-introduced this song in a new ads that has millennials humming the same tune their parents (and aunts and uncles) did.
At Hampton Park, sports are an important part of our well-rounded program. Sports require commitment and dedication, and few other extra-curricular activities help develop character in the way that playing a sport does.
Congratulations, Panthers, on another great baseball season. We’re root, root, rooting for you this weekend!
Ernie Harwell, longtime announcer of the Detroit Tigers, probably said it best when he gave his definition of baseball during his Ford C. Frick Award Speech:
“Baseball is the President tossing out the first ball of the season and a scrubby schoolboy playing catch with his dad on a Mississippi farm. A tall, thin old man waving a scorecard from the corner of his dugout. That’s baseball. And so is the big, fat guy with a bulbous nose running home one of his (Babe Ruth’s) 714 home runs.
There’s a man in Mobile who remembers that Honus Wagner hit a triple in Pittsburgh forty-six years ago. That’s baseball. So is the scout reporting that a sixteen year old pitcher in Cheyenne is a coming Walter Johnson. Baseball is a spirited race of man against man, reflex against reflex. A game of inches. Every skill is measured. Every heroic, every failing is seen and cheered, or booed. And then becomes a statistic.
In baseball democracy shines its clearest. The only race that matters is the race to the bag. The creed is the rulebook. Color merely something to distinguish one team’s uniform from another.
Baseball is a rookie. His experience no bigger than the lump in his throat as he begins fulfillment of his dream. It’s a veteran too, a tired old man of thirty-five hoping that those aching muscles can pull him through another sweltering August and September. Nicknames are baseball, names like Zeke and Pie and Kiki and Home Run and Cracker and Dizzy and Dazzy.
Baseball is just a game, as simple as a ball and bat, yet as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes. A sport, a business and sometimes almost even a religion.
Why the fairy tale of Willie Mays making a brilliant World’s Series catch. And then dashing off to play stick ball in the street with his teenage pals. That’s baseball. So is the husky voice of a doomed Lou Gehrig saying., “I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.”
Baseball is cigar smoke, hot roasted peanuts, The Sporting News, ladies day, “Down in Front”, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, and the Star Spangled Banner.
Baseball is a tongue tied kid from Georgia growing up to be an announcer and praising the Lord for showing him the way to Cooperstown. This is a game for America. Still a game for America, this baseball!