Kelly’s Korner: For Love of the Game
When I wake up in the morning, I have my usual routine: wash my face, make myself look presentable, get dressed, eat breakfast, make lunch, brush my teeth and I’m out the door. But sometimes I stop in my tracks and think, “Wow… I get to work at a ballpark today.” I get to smell the dirt, feel the green grass and marvel at Centene Stadium’s beauty….and this gets to happen five whole days a week!
Baseball diamonds are my sanctuary. Big, small, green, brown, grass, dirt, new and old. I can’t help but smile in the delight at such a beautiful thing. Some might call me crazy, others might label me a fool, but there is no feeling like that awe and joy when I step foot in the presence of a baseball field. It’s similar to the feeling of a rookie’s first time playing in a Major League Ballpark. It rivals the joy that Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez, Ya-Ya, Smalls, Squints and other characters from “The Sandlot” feel when they play on their beat-up Sandlot. It’s a feeling of the past, a feeling of sheer happiness and a feeling of coming home.
I played softball for 15 years, but even before kindergarten when I started playing, I was at all of my brother’s ball games. After a successful high school fastpitch career I started umpiring. Now, I work for a baseball team. Needless to say, baseball has been a part of my life from the very beginning. I understand and appreciate the sense of teamwork, camaraderie and self- confidence that baseball teaches. Through trials and tribulations, championships and heartaches, baseball has helped me build character, teach me life lessons and has helped me gain confidence in myself and my abilities. I may not play professional baseball, but the game is still a part of me and I still carry that sense of pride and passion with me today.
What’s great about working for the Voyagers is that I have the opportunity to help others feel the same way I do. I have the chance to help this sport be a positive influence in people’s lives. I can help boys, girls, men, women, young and old feel alive when they step foot into Centene Stadium. This is what working for a ball team is all about and I’m so excited to have the opportunity to share my passion.
You know, they say that baseball is a way of life. Looking back and looking forward, I think I have to agree. Without it, I’d be a different person. It’s more than just a game, it’s a sort of poetry – full of grace and poise. There’s a reason why it truly is America’s pastime.
“…The one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again…” – Field of Dreams