There’s no crying in baseball?
It was one of those moments when something just happens without any warning or buildup.
It was hard to explain why it happened and what sparked it.
I shed tears of joy.
Yes, is this what I’ve come to in my mid-40s? Writing my first column in a couple of months about how I’ve become a bawling, babbling buffoon in middle age?
No, this is not what this column is about.
It’s about baseball, of course.
The tears — well at least the lump in my throat, the moistness of my eyes and the sogginess of the sleeve of my T-shirt — arrived last Friday morning as I sat in this very seat at home watching highlights on my laptop of the Orioles beating the Yankees on the night they unveiled the Cal Ripken Jr. statue at Camden Yards.
As I watched the film of the Orioles hitting three homers in the bottom of the 8th to break a 6-6 tie, I lost it.
I called my wife later and told her about it and swore her to secrecy. She’s off the hook now.
I’m sharing because I think a lot of people — especially fans of the team from Baltimore — also shed tears that night. Or at least felt a little nostalgic.
(And I sure hope some Yankee fans cried, too.)
The reasons for the tears? There’s plenty. The joy of being in a pennant race again, the thrill of relevance, the ecstasy of beating the Yankees, the ringing endorsement of how absence does make the heart grow fonder.
Of course, it also could have been the lack of sleep over the past six months and the stress and strain of jobs, kids, bills, life.
As I struggled last Friday morning with this emotional upheaval, my first thought was to call my dad.
He passed away more than five years ago. My brothers and all my buddies were at work, and everybody else either doesn’t care or was busy with life.
It hit me then that it wasn’t necessarily the Orioles’ surprising success this year and the rousing victory in front of a rejuvenated fan base that night, but it was baseball itself.
I love pro football. I love to watch it, pick the games, play fantasy football and talk smack with anyone who will listen.
People are passionate about it, and about college football.