I am so excited about the title of this article that I might ride around campus on a segway screaming it indiscriminately. My name is Thomas Hulley and I'm the new baseball writer for InsideNU. Three weeks ago, as I sat at my desk pretending to work on a paper, the sun began beating through my window. The moment it hit me, I could smell the sour scent of freshly cut outfield grass. Since I can remember I have been falling asleep with baseball games on the radio and playing stickball in the park by my house. Every year, in the midst of a long winter, a sunbeam will gently remind me that spring is around the corner, and with it comes baseball.
Since that afternoon, I have been watching old baseball games on YouTube and fielding grounders bounced off my couch. While my playing career ended in high school, the timeless game still has a hold on me. That’s why I was ecstatic when Kevin Trahan told me I could cover Northwestern baseball for InsideNU. Nothing sounds better to me than spending afternoons at Rocky Miller Park and sharing my thoughts with whatever wayward baseball fans are a part of this community.
Later today, our very own boys of summer will take the field in Surprise, Arizona. While the February date and below freezing temperatures may have you confused, I would like to remind you that Surprise, Arizona has only two seasons, Summer and Inside of a Coal Furnace. (As a side note, Surprise, Arizona has a spot on my all time best named southwest cities list. The top spot obviously goes to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.)
When the boys take the field this afternoon, on a fine summer day in Surprise, I am confident they will spend some time playing catch. Just as teams from little league to the majors, they will stand in the outfield, tossing the ball back and forth. They will take in the smell of the freshly cut grass, adjust the height of their pants, and become mesmerized by the sound of a ball hitting leather in just the right spot.
With each toss, they will shake off a layer of the winter doldrums and remember what first made them love this game. A new generation of converts will connect with the legions of baseball devotees through a simple game of catch.
To that end, I would like to connect to generations of NU baseball fans. Until the team comes home in April, I will be collecting information on Northwestern baseball history and culture. If anyone out there was a member of the team, or even just a fan, please share your stories and recollections of Northwestern baseball in the comments. If you have friends, current or old, who fit this description, please pass the message along.
I cannot wait to share this season with all of you. Baseball is coming!