My grandfather used to listen to baseball games on the radio. I remember coming into the kitchen early in the morning, seeing him there at the table in his ranch clothes, having already been out to do the morning chores. One hand would be wrapped around a cup of coffee, the other hand on the table, fingers curled a little, rapping a knuckle against the table top. He listened with his eyes fixed on a distant place reflected in the surface of the table.
He must have been listening to games from back East, because I don’t think they played pro ball games before noon, even back then.
I can’t remember if I ever tried to talk to him while he was listening to the game. I don’t think I did, I was a pretty smart kid. I was also impossibly young, I doubt I had much to say.
I think I still have one of his radios. It has dials, and a little red plastic bar slides along a ladder of hash marks on the case front. It doesn’t have a USB port or XM capability, it doesn’t play CDs. No cassette deck, or 8 track player. It’s just a radio.
That thing saved my sanity once, while I was in self-imposed isolation, studying for a monumentally awful test. 10 days, no tv, no internet, no cell phone. I found that old radio and may have even listened to a ball game. In any case, it still works.
So sitting here on the couch, listening to the Adirondack Phantoms via audio webcast is just the same, except it’s not morning, I’m listening to a laptop, and it isn’t a ball game. Also, the NHL ASG draft is on the tv screen next to the laptop and I’m typing this on my phone.
Right, I’m also following a Twitter feed.
But it still feels the same, and there’s coffee.
For the moment, the Phantoms are winning.
I feel a twinge of guilt for not listening to the Worcester Sharks, but come on, it’s Leighton. The broadcasters are going on and on about how terrible his last game was, as if there is no other way to say he is playing well tonight.
So the least I can do is listen to the game. It’s a little like a cup of coffee with my grandfather.