Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball Is Just Unique

Storytelling sets baseball apart from the other sports

Henry Lake
June 12, 2017 - 2:30 pm

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to be a part of the Negro League Baseball Museum’s Hall of Game ceremonies.  It was an honor and a blessing again to attend an event that celebrates the game of baseball and look back at the accomplishments of guys that played the game at the highest level. This year’s class included Maury Wills, Lee Smith, Al Oliver, and Tony Perez.  Also honored was former MLB pitcher and executive Dave Stewart, who received the Jackie Robinson Lifetime Achievement Award.

But the reason the evening was so special wasn’t just the fact that some of the living legends of the game were being honored.  It was because we got a glimpse at why the game of baseball is so special and so unique.  Baseball is separated from the other major sports with one specific aspect, story telling.

Story telling is something that lends itself to being able to be passed on from generation to generation.  History is based on the facts of years past, but story telling can add on to the history in our lives, even if every single thing that has transpired hasn’t necessarily been documented on paper.  Saturday night was a clear example of that.

To hear Maury Wills talk about what made him special at stealing bases in the big leagues is one thing.  But what I didn’t know was his special relationship with star pitcher Don Drysdale.  He talked about how Drysdale was his “protector.”  How opposing pitchers hated how many bases he stole but also how he never worried about that because he knew if anybody wanted to stir it up with him, Drysdale had his back and would take care of it.

I think of baseball here on the radio with Royals Hall of Fame broadcaster Denny Matthews, who you can hear Mondays at 3 on The Drive.  When you listen to Denny, he always gives you amazing stories.  It’s why the game of baseball is the best sport to listen to over the radio and in my opinion it’s not close.  It’s like when you were a young kid and your grandparents would tell you stories.  Stories that you enjoyed but also would put some perspective on life.  And with these great stories being told by the legends of the game, it doesn’t matter how old you are. Whether you are 21 or 41, it doesn’t matter, you can learn something.

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