For The Love Of The Game, Or How I Fell For Little League Baseball

Rachel GoldmanCorrespondent IAugust 24, 2009

WILLIAMSPORT, PA - AUGUST 24:  Centerfielder Sergio Rodriguez #15 of Mexico is consoled by teammate Eduardo Rodriguez #16 after Sergio was relieved at pitcher in the third inning while taking on the United States during the Little League World Series Championship game at Lamade Stadium on August 24, 2008 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The United States defeated Mexico 12-3.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

I'll admit it; I've never really been a baseball fan.

I don't dislike baseball. My dad is a die-hard Yankees fan; my maternal grandfather, a die-hard Phillies fan. I like a baseball game every once in awhile, and playoffs can be thrilling, but I'm not always a Phanatic—and I'm certainly more of a every-game counts, any-given-Sunday kind of girl.

And, while I love kids, I never could imagine myself watching a whole girl's lacrosse game without knowing someone playing.

So, you could imagine my surprise to find myself glued to the Little League World Series.

It all started because one of the local teams, the South Shore All-Stars of Staten Island, made it to the big series in Williamsport, Pa. As a news producer, I had to keep my eye on the game to update the score.

However, it soon became more than just a glance at ABC for Saturday's second day of playing. I was holding my breath when the count was full and pounding my desk in frustration when an error was made. 

I never got angry at the players like I often do in football or hockey. Instead, I was just saddened when a ball was dropped or a line drive hit by the other team.

Mostly, I was in awe of their talent, their love of the game, and their sportsmanship. I was moved by the excitement of their fans in the stands and the high fives they gave their opponents after a walk-off home run. 

Tonight, as I pushed aside preseason football for the young All-Stars, traded steroid claims for 50 mile per hour strikes, and million-dollar salaries for million-dollar smiles, I found the love of the game.