Hulne: Competition bridges the gap between generations

Published 9:32 am Friday, June 30, 2023

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Sometimes a memory jumps from out of nowhere and wraps its arms around you. Before you know it, you’re standing in the past, watching things unfold as they did all of those years ago.

I had one of those moments last week at Marcusen Park when I noticed a few youths running up and down the stairs as they chased after every foul ball to earn a quarter in the everlasting pursuit of a freezie pop. My mind immediately went back to my early days in Austin when I used to bring my young children to work with me. Oftentimes I would turn around to find them running and playing with random kids or sneaking around and exploring the depths of the stadium. One time, they found a way into the visitor’s dugout!

My kids are now in their teenage years and neither of them play baseball, but my son is very active in other sports. 

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I am not the only one who has vivid memories attached to Marcusen Park. The park has been tied to Austin for 75 years now, which means there are most likely kids playing baseball at the park who had grandparents play there as well.

Over seven decades of change, the game remains the same. Three strikes and you’re out, and you need to get to home plate to score a run.

When you think about the early days of baseball in farm fields, the game truly does bridge the generational gap. We haven’t met anybody playing in th 1800s, but if you’ve ever watched or played a game of baseball, you’re catching a glimpse of what life was like back then.

If you look deeper into the history of baseball, you’ll find that it was inspired by cricket in England, and other games that were played by the Mayans, Egyptians and French, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

Look deeper into sporting history and you’ll end up at the gladiatorial games, which are a far cry from today’s sports with much more violence. They date back to over 2,000 years ago. 

Basically if you are playing or watching sports today, you are participating in something that your oldest ancestors can relate to. In an age of growing technology, increased depression, increased anxiety, and screen time attachment, I think that’s pretty cool and also extremely important.

So if you haven’t understood why people love sports or have never thought of giving it a try, you now have another reason to establish a love of sports.