Baseball on the Radio and Tears of Joy

Last night I cried tears of joy.

I was driving home from the office after staying until well past seven because of publication deadlines, and I was well into Pennsylvania when I realized — there’s a Nationals game on the radio!

Two months ago, a Harrisburg radio station announced they were dropping Phillies broadcasts in favor of Nationals broadcasts. This news excited me — I love the Nationals radio team of Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler — and I found that I could receive the station on the road from (roughly) Glen Rock to my apartment.

So, five miles from my apartment I tuned into 96.5, and I heard it.

The mellifluous tones of Charlie Slowes.

The road suddenly became blurry. Tears of joy.

Charlie and Dave. On the radio. In Pennsyltucky.

I got home in time for the bottom of the first, and hearing Charlie and Dave call the game brought back fond memories.

Television is nice and lovely and all, but if you can’t see a game in person, the way to “see” the game is on the radio. Baseball is literate, a sport made for words. Ring Lardner knew this. Michael Bishop knew this; Brittle Innings is magnificent. W.P. Kinsella knows this; Shoeless Joe and The Iowa Baseball Confederacy are simply magical. I wrote a baseball short story myself, and I know this, too.

I heard Ryan Zimmerman smash the two run homer, and I wanted to shout “Zim!” at the top of my lungs, but that would have been rude to my neighbors. Instead, I jumped, and I bashed my hand into the ceiling, as the ceilings in my apartment are quite low. I obviously wasn’t thinking.

As I worked on documents for the office throughout the evening, I had the radio on. Charlie and Dave switched off each inning, and I felt like my old friends were back with me once more. Oh, I’ve never met them, but I used to listen to them often when I lived in Randallstown. I remember where I was when I heard Charlie’s call of Jayson Werth’s walk-off home run in game 4 of the 2012 NLDS, the one that kept the Nationals’ season alive for one more game. (Specifically, I was in my Beetle, about a mile from home. I spent the last mile screaming my head off.)

Here’s that radio call, by the way.

Epic. That still gives me goosebumps.

I finished my work. Or, at least, as much as I was going to finish last night, and I stood in my living room and listened intently to the top of the ninth and Drew Storen’s first save attempt.

Nats won over the Mets, 2-1.

What was this strange feeling that overcame me? Oh, yes. Happiness. It was happiness.

The Nationals are, for me, back on the radio, and I couldn’t be happier, even if the happiness comes with tears of joy. For, as Gandalf would say, we should not fear to weep as not all tears are evil. 🙂

And, coming up for me on Sunday, the Senators play the Altoona Curve!

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