Passion for baseball started with T-ball, has grown since

Christina Gordon, Staff Writer

When I was 6-years-old, my T-ball coach told me “as soon as I put the ball down you swing as hard as you can” so I listened to him. The next thing you heard was PING, you would have thought that I just hit a monster homerun. 

But nope, not a homerun. I just hit my coach Steve Coon straight in the knuckles. 

Everyone was laughing, well not Steve, he was jumping up and down trying to get his hand to stop hurting. Every time I came up to bat after that, he would put the ball down fast just to protect his hands.  

That is by far my favorite memory I have playing baseball.

I was introduced to baseball back then, and since then there hasn’t been a year without baseball in it.

This year might be a different story. With the cancelation of the spring season due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and possibly the summer season as well. I might not have the chance to work in the sport that has changed my life and with the team that has meant the world to me.  

In 2006, I was introduced to the Northwoods League when my mom’s boss had extra tickets to the game, as her son was playing. She invited my family to the game to watch her son play for the Eau Claire Express.

Since then there hasn’t been a year that I haven’t been a part of the Express. This past season, I had the honor of interning for them as a photographer. Since 2006 I have been to approximately 500 Express games.  

The one consistent in my life has been the Eau Claire Express. I have been there through the ups and downs. I was there for the 2010 NWL Championship, to the heartbreak of losing two championship games, from the crazy walk offs, to the hard-fought games that they came up just short, and everything in between.  

I have had the honors of watching Express Alumni play in the Major Leagues, like Jordan Zimmerman, pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, and Kole Calhoun, outfielder for the Arizona Diamondbacks.  

For the first time in a long time baseball is on hold for me and everyone else.  

I miss the fields, I miss the sounds, and I miss the people. There isn’t a day that goes by where I am not thinking of baseball. I think about how good the Madison College baseball team would be. I think about what the roster would look like for the Eau Claire Express. I think of the people that I would have met.  

I think about baseball all the time.  

Baseball is the one thing I look forward to every spring and summer. It is the most important sport in my life. It might sound crazy but it is true, I am a different person during baseball season. Baseball makes me so happy, it makes me think more, it helps me grow into a better person. 

I chose to work in baseball because it is a way for me to stay in the game that I love so much. Without baseball I would not be the person that I am today.

I have learned during this coronavirus pandemic how much more important the game is to me, and I have learned that I have been taking the game for granted. Once baseball is back again, I am going to enjoy every moment even more – as you don’t know when it might all be over.  

So, thanks baseball for shaping me into the person I am today. And sorry, coach, for the sore knuckles.