Pardon the twist on Bill Shakespeare’s famous line, but one of the joys of this business is bending the words of The Bard to fit my fancy.
The other real joy of this business is watching baseball in the spring.
I’ve covered the Ole Miss Rebels in Memphis, the MSU Bulldogs in New Orleans and many a high school baseball game in cities across this great state.
It’s a tough assignment, but someone has to do it.
I was Sports Editor for a newspaper just south of here for four years and my staff and I used to fight over who got to cover Mississippi State on the weekend.
Since those days, Ole Miss has come on strong, invested in a stadium and now they, too, have a facility that allows fans to soak up spring sunshine and a baseball game.
I believe baseball is one of the few sports you can watch that lets you actually relax. To me, football is vicious, basketball is too quick and NASCAR is way too loud.
In baseball or softball you know where the action will be – the pitch, the swing, the runner on third – you can anticipate what will happen next.
Baseball also allows you to carry on a conversation with the person next to you as the batter steps to the plate or the pitcher walks off the mound to catch his breath.
No, there are few things that come together in life more perfectly than a sunny spring day, a hot dog and coke and a game played on a diamond.
We’ve had a chance to watch a number of high school games over the past few weeks and we are proud to report we’ve got some pretty good teams around here.
We were proud to see the Hilltoppers win another come-from-behind game this past week.
The Heart-Attack Hilltoppers scare us ole timers to death with their cool and calm view of the current game. The coach has also confided that is not his preferred method to victory.
But as long as they are winning, none of us should complain
And I do hope they continue to win, because winning programs do more than just sell newspapers.
They bring honor and recognition to your city.
Certainly academics should take top priority at any school, but a district with a well-rounded athletic program brings a higher quality of life to their community.
Youngsters who work hard to excel on the field of competition have a better chance of making the grade in the game called life.
I like my work, but there is one job I would not want – high school coach.
Can you imagine putting your career and livelihood in the hands of a teenage who had a bad day at school? I saw a coach basically lose his job years ago because “Johnny” broke up with “Suzy” that morning and “Johnny” was the starting pitcher that night. The team lost, the season ended and the coach went to another school the next year.
I say this to make sure parents understand they have a stake in the success of any athletic program.
Most good coaches welcome parent involvement that benefits the team.
I also hope our community leaders recognize the value of quality sports programs.
City and county dollars spent on improving our ballparks are monies well spent.
And anytime a business or businessman uses their time, equipment or money to help our kids – well, that is always a good investment in our future.
Yes, tis spring and a young man’s thoughts turn to baseball!
So take me out the ball park . . .
No, I can’t improve on that famous ditty.
I’ll see you at the game!
Floyd Ingram is Managing Editor/News for the Chickasaw Journal. He can be reached at 456-3771 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org