A new perspective on the game

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by Jean Gabler | 5/18/09 • It has been a while since I have written. I have had an unusually eventful spring. The high has been the birth of my second grandchild, Samuel, in March. For those of you who have not had the experience of being a grandparent, it is a love as strong as any I have experienced. It is all the joy of parenthood without any of the day-to-day weariness and tediousness that comes with being a parent.

the knothole view is jean gabler’s blog about the minnesota twins and all things baseball.

As often happens, at the same time that we were celebrating a new life, we were faced with death. This spring has seen the passing of a close family friend of almost 40 years, the death of the young student Dan Zamlen—who worked in my office at St. Thomas—and just last week notice that a niece of mine was killed in a tragic accident. My niece Sara’s death is so difficult to accept. Sara was living life to the fullest, doing what she loved and having a positive impact on the lives of so many others.

What does this have to do with baseball? I had been thinking about what to write in my blog. It didn’t seem right to me to talk about wins and losses and to even care how the Twins are doing as a team. However, the evening I was driving home after hearing about Sara’s death, I found myself reaching for the radio dial. There was comfort in turning on the baseball game and remembering that life still goes on. I think baseball is that constant for many people. I think of nursing home residents and many others who look forward to the Twins games on the radio or on TV to keep them in touch with the outside world and to mark their days. If you are a fan, the Twins players become part of your life. We can talk about Joe Mauer coming back from the disabled list and being back in the lineup in front of Justin Morneau. We know that Carlos Gomez is a new father, that Justin was married this past winter, that Delmon Young is taking time off to be with his mother who is very ill. They are much more than numbers and statistics—at least here in Minnesota, they become people we care about. And if we can learn from baseball that after every hard loss, there is another game and another hope for success and joy, we will have learned a lot.

For me, baseball is about being with family and sharing a passion for the game. Sara was not a baseball fan, but she never missed the chance to come to a tailgating party. So when we gather this summer to watch the Twins play or get together in the backyard with a burger and the game on the radio, we will think of Sara and remember all the good times. That is what baseball gives us.

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