In April, there’s one important day for my family that silences the rest. It’s not Passover. It’s not Babe Ruth Day, although that’s close. The day in question is none other than Opening Day of Baseball. So, when it came time to select my reading for April, the choice was easy. Finding Doris Kearn Goodwin’s Wait Till Next Year, a present from a friend back in Denver, I knew I had the perfect book for this month.
Wait Till Next Year
Wait Till Next Year chronicles Doris Kearns Goodwin’s childhood as a Brooklyn Dodgers fan during the 1950s, a time also know for major political and social changes, both nationally and in Goodwin’s neighborhood. As Goodwin anxiously charts and keeps score she recalls the details of each game and her eager hopes that each year is the year the Dodgers will be the world champions. It seems not much has changed in my household as I think on the numerous times my dad passionately announces with a glimmer of hope, “This is the year. The Dodgers have a fantastic team.” Reading about Goodwin’s admiration for and meeting with various Brooklyn Dodger players including Jackie Robinson continually reminds me of my childhood admiration of Orel Hershiser, Chan Ho Park and Hideo Nomo. What equally fascinates me just as much is Goodwin’s nostalgia and memories of her childhood neighborhood and historical events including desegregation in schools and the Cold War. Although I was not a devoted Catholic growing up, I can’t help but laugh when Goodwin retells her story of asking for forgiveness from her priest for ill wishes upon rival teams’ players. What I loved about this book is how Goodwin tells the story of her family and neighborhood changing as baseball evolves and the Dodgers leave for Los Angeles. Like Goodwin, the one thing I learn from baseball is to never give up hope and to keep going against all odds, because you never know how things will turn out.
April has come to an end, and baseball season is in full swing. It’s not something I can avoid, given the fact that my dad watches every game and my mom and me take a peek on Instagram to see the latest scores. The weather may be unpredictable, like it always is in the southwestern United States, but what is always certain is my enthusiasm for the Los Angeles Dodgers and baseball. Perhaps my dad is right, this year will be the year, but if not, there’s always next year too.
What are your memories of your favorite sports team? What do you look forward in spring?