Baseball: A bat and ball game between two teams of nine players each who take turns batting and fielding.

A simple 18 word definition for a game that is timelessly passed down from one generation to the next, a game that helps define the country that honed it into a national pastime.   My father taught me how to throw and catch, field grounders, catch flies and of course how to bat.  All these things I taught to my sons and I expect in time they'll be taught to my grandchildren.

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Baseball is timeless, baseball is seamlessly

handed down from generation to generation.

Daddy used to say "America is a 3-box country, the ballot box, the jury box and the batters box". As much as anything he meant that like in baseball, life in America comes down to the individual and the amount of responsibility he accepts for himself and his circumstance.

Although it's a team sport, at the moment of truth the batter faces the pitcher alone, the fielder catches the dramatic end-of-the-game fly or not depending on his own skill, preparation and effort. Just as in life one succeeds or fails with varying degrees of success based on his own skill preparation and effort.

Baseball is the one sport with no time clock, you play out your innings, each at bat at a time, in it's own time and the game isn't over until it's over.  Someone please notify MLB that one of the beautiful things about the game is: it is not a hurry-up affair.  One simply does not go to a baseball game if one is in a hurry.

Yes, there are a lot of 'slow' parts to a ballgame - just as in life, days even months can go by without anything 'happening' in your life.  But that makes the sweetly turned double-play a beautiful thing to witness, you had to wait for it.  It makes the suicide squeeze an occasion worth suddenly rising out of your chair for.  Like life, you must diligently observe, and you can never take your eye off the game, and your patience is rewarded  with a promotion at work, or the sight of the sweet high arc of a monstrous 490 foot home run into deep center.

Baseball, the game of life - specifically of American life where any player can become the hero or the heel, the game which when it begins no one can say when it will end, starts its 2017 season today with 12 games on the schedule.  Hope springs Eternal.

The Houston Astros will host the Seattle Mariners tonight with the first pitch of the new year coming at precisely 7:05 Central Daylight Time.