I recently received an unexpected and wonderful compliment on Twitter.
A couple weeks ago, I was a guest on Justin McGuire’s Baseball by the Book podcast.
The episode published on November 3, Election Day, a perfect day to talk about making new friends and lessons learned from playing catch. The day after the episode published, this was tweeted.
“Listened to this today, not expecting it to be particularly engaging. I was wrong. It was engaging, and pleasantly so.”
I replied to the author of the tweet, “Thanks for listening!”
Playing catch was an education with the best curriculum: stories. It was not only physical exercise, it was a daily workout in empathy, communication, and compassion. Thanks to my catch partners, I received first-rate instruction in being a better human.
Even with the challenge Covid-19 presents, I think it’s possible to safely share some of these stories, stories that didn’t make it into the book, in person, for one reason: to spread hope.
I think we could all use a few stories of hope and I am convinced, with everything in me, baseball is a game of hope.
In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott wrote, “Baseball . . . can give us back ourselves. Baseball, if we love it, gives us back our place in the crowd. It restores us. Baseball, like life, throbs with hope, or it wouldn’t exist.”
And Nelson Mandela said, “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.”
And I wrote, “Play is an audacious act of hope. In a world that is driven by the bottom line and uber-efficiency, play loudly challenges everyone not to take themselves so seriously. Play breathes into our broken world and extends an invitation to join the present beauty. Play creates margin in the midst of the mundane, offering fresh perspectives and insight in exchange for an investment of time.”
I propose The Catching Hope Tour.
A catch-playing time of bringing people together for stories of life, baseball, faith, and the hope-filled wonder of being human.
The venue and audience will help shape the experience. Stories will be told. Books will be available to purchase. Baseballs will be available to throw. Gloves will be recommended for anyone in attendance. Above all, it will be a pleasantly engaging experience.
If you are interested in learning more about The Catching Hope Tour, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.