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Getting over the baseball blues

Getting over the baseball blues

It normally happens one day a year. The day after the MLB All-Star game is known for being that one day of the year when there are no sports. This past month has seemed like an eternity. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down. I was one of the many who temporarily lost their jobs because they were not “essential”. I work at a sports bar which is why this has been even worse. No sports. No job where I can watch sports. I’m reminded of the opening credits of The Watchmen with Bob Dylan’s “Times They are A-Changin'” playing.

We all have to make sacrifices during times like these. I’m doing my part to help out by being a courier driver. I deliver food from restaurants, groceries, alcohol, etc. I know that one day sports will return, and with it my job. Being a sportswriter who covers just baseball has been a joy. At least NFL journalists have the upcoming draft and their hundred plus mock versions to write about. Meanwhile I’ve been stuck with a bit of the old writer’s block. Aside from the proposed changes for what will hopefully be a 2020 season there hasn’t been much to write about. Sure we could all do top ten lists (I actually thought of a unique one for next week) but what else is there?

If you are a die-hard baseball fan who needs a short-term cure I have come up with a few options.

Baseball Movies

If you don’t already own enough then there are plenty of options out there. MLB Network has been showing movies. For some reason they seem to include that Freddie Prinze Jr. disaster Summer Catch. The others are good though. What I suggest is that you turn your attention to YouTube where you can find some older gems that were all HBO originals. I highly recommend Long Gone starring William Petersen and a very young Dermot Mulroney. It takes place in the 1950 minor leagues. This is actually my #1 all-time favorite baseball movie.

Comrades of Summer stars Joe Mantegna who plays a recently fired player/manager for the Seattle Mariners who accepts a job trying to build an Olympic baseball team for Russia.

Soul of the Game stars Delroy Lindo as Satchel Paige, Blair Underwood as Jackie Robinson and Mykelti Williamson as Josh Gibson. It’s based on their true story and the backlash of Jackie being the first player among them to be chosen to break the color barrier.

When It Was a Game is actually an HBO documentary featuring rare color footage from the 40’s through 60’s. Back then only the wealthy could afford color reel-to-reel cameras and it’s pretty cool to see some of the greats in something other than black-and-white.

Baseball Cards

I am a huge collector and have over 100,000 cards. Some nights after work I like to go back through and make sure I didn’t miss any the first time. Sure enough, the other night I found a couple of Juan Soto rookie cards, a Justin Verlander rookie and a Fernando Tatis Jr. jersey card among others. You can still go to Target and Wal-Mart to buy cards but those are just retail packs and contain fewer bonus cards than hobby packs that you find at card shops. Of course card shops are closed currently but you can find subscription boxes online that will mail you a box a of hobby packs once a month.

Plus if you have young kids who haven’t been introduced to the hobby and that love baseball maybe now is the time to get them started.

Virtual Globe Life Field

Okay, so it’s not really “virtual” but it’s the closest you can come to Globe Life Field without the smell of hot dogs and beer. A lot of gamers are posting games from MLB: The Show 2020. I actually sat through a game just because it was the Texas Rangers and the new park.

Also make sure that you check out Joey Gallo who is currently 11-1 in The Show Player’s Tournament. For more information on that I refer you to Alex Plinck’s article which can found here.

Hopefully this will give some of you a temporary break from the insanity. I know it has helped me.

Until next time, I hope to see you in the cheap seats soon!


James Holland is a credentialed staff writer for Dallas Sports Fanatic. He's a lifelong fan of baseball and his hometown Texas Rangers. He's a member of SABR and Fangraphs because he craves ALL the data. He's also a karaoke addict who hosts shows at his favorite bar in Arlington.

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