Herald Journal Columns
March 6, 2006, Herald Journal

The sweet, sweet sound of spring

By Aaron Schultz

Well, I am getting excited for baseball, if you didn’t know that already.

High school baseball practice is just two short weeks away, amateur baseball practices are starting, spring training games have started, and the snow is almost completely melted away.

Yep, I am getting the itch to get at it, and there was one more thing that pretty much put me over the hump Thursday.

As I headed down to New Ulm Cathedral to catch the Holy Trinity of Winsted Trojans boys basketball team’s opening round sub-section game, I was listening to the usual, KFAN.

And like normal, as I got just west of Glencoe and the clock ticked to 6 p.m., I could no longer get reception.

So, I hit preset button two on the AM side of my radio dial, which is WCCO, and to my surprise, the Minnesota Twins’ opening spring training game was just starting.

Now, I knew that the game was that night, but I completely forgot it was on the radio.

Oh, the sweet sound of John Gordon and Dan Gladden talking baseball, and telling stories. I got about as excited as a kid at Christmas.

When I hear those two doing the play-by-play of a Twins game, my mind immediately brings me to a warm summer day, sitting outside and watching baseball.

Not the Twins, of course, because I would be sitting inside a big tent, in air conditioning, if I was watching the Twins in Minnesota.

Enough of that, this is not a column complaining about the Metrodome, I do enough of those.

Well, the drive to New Ulm went quicker than usual as I listened intently to Johan Santana strike out three in two innings of shutout baseball.

Then, Torii Hunter smashed a home run, to give the Twins the lead.

I wanted to drive all night and keep listening to the Twins, that or make a stop and watch them on the tube.

But I was working, and that couldn’t happen, so as I pulled into New Ulm, I was very happy to find a parking spot right in front of the school.

I grabbed my camera and headed into the gym.

The game was just starting, perfect timing. After eating a bag of popcorn (my supper), I started snapping pictures, getting into the basketball game, and forgetting about the Twins.

Then, the game reached halftime, and I immediately took off back to my car to catch a little more of the Twins.

After listening to an inning of the game, I made my way back into the gym to watch the Trojans pull out a nice opening-round win.

I headed right back to my car after the game, and I was happy to find that there were still a couple of innings left to be played.

I couldn’t tell you the players that were playing, in fact, I didn’t even know which team was out in the field, and which one was up to bat, since the names were so foreign to me; it didn’t matter.

And it appeared not to matter to Gordon and Gladden anymore either, as their discussion went to the World Baseball Classic, fishing in Florida, and how they lost in golf to a couple of umpires.

I mean, it is still just an early spring training game, and of the players who were playing, two or three of the 18 would be lucky to make the big league roster come April.

That didn’t make any difference on this night, I was just happy to hear that sweet sound of spring and summer, baseball on the radio.