In the U.S., the “boys of Summer” refers to the people who engage in the Spring-Summer-Fall activity of watching or playing baseball, “the national pastime.” They are NOT all boys… The frustration and love for your favorite team always begin with HOPE. We hope that OUR team will play well, win games, and “make the playoffs.” Some cities/teams have long histories of success, like the New York Yankees, and some cities seem doomed to frustration and disappointment like Chicago. BUT, at the beginning of the “season” there is always the chance that the players and the managers and the owners will do their jobs and the team will win and the glory will be shared by all the fans.
I love baseball. I love watching baseball. I loved playing baseball. I loved my son taking up the sport and watching him play baseball. To many people, baseball is boring and too slow to watch. One of my favorite childhood memories was sitting with my father on a Sunday afternoon and watching a baseball game on television while he explained to me what was happening and what was going to happen. Playing “catch” with my father was a tradition whose memory still brings tears to my eyes as I recall those precious moments (not unique to my history.) Baseball is not for everyone. If you love the game you understand the rules and may have knowledge of the history of baseball which is often told in statistics. Statistics are unimportant numerical facts about baseball performance that, to the worshippers of the “game,” may mean something that you can argue about with other “believers.” There are a lot of numerical facts and understanding the game means you may remember these “facts” (stats) and cause you to expect something that will happen, based on these stats, in the game you are watching. In much of baseball history, players stayed with “their teams” for long periods of time and lived in their team’s city so the fans could know and love their local “heroes.” Loyalty to team and the sport was based on love for the local “boys of Summer.” Today, the “game” (of baseball) is more a money making business so players, even teams, will move around and loyalty and “tradition” are not honored in the same way.
A stress management expert would have you notice that “hope,” “loyalty,” and sitting in the sunshine on a warm Spring/Summer/Fall day, involved in the game, is a stress management experience that has positive effects on many fans, especially when the “home team” wins. Losing ourselves in sporting competition gets us away from other life stressors and allows a release of pent up emotions and stress. Enjoy the mental (and physical) vacation from your life. Celebrate the majesty of the Summer and the “world’s greatest game.”
And, before your team gets too far into the season, feel the HOPE for a season of success. Enjoy every victory and the very best that your team’s players can achieve. For the love of the game, “be in the moment” and relish the experience!