I went to the gym at 6:15 Thursday morning, as I often do. I did some reading on my iPad while on the treadmill, used some weights, got on a couple of machines. Listened to the news while making tea back in my apartment – they forecast a foot of snow in the New York area for the night and emphasized that this was not an April Fool’s joke.

In response, I put on a turtleneck, boots, and my black winter coat that I am so, so tired of. From the office, I called clients in warmer parts of the world, in Munich, in Rio. I fought over the phone with my mobile phone provider and realized there was some irony in this, but lost on me at that moment. I was all over Manhattan for a bunch of meetings, broke a heel. Come to think of it, I am really tired of these winter boots, too. The afternoon was no less hectic than the morning. Then a quick stop at home to feed the cats and grab a bite to eat before a shareholder meeting at my coop. I hobbled into my apartment for good at 9:15 and finally got out of the boots. And the coat. And started to think about what to do with the very short rest of the day.

Then it came to me. I turned on the television. The Yankees game (against the Tigers) was in the bottom of the 6th inning. They were losing, and given the layers of clothing on the players and coaches in the dugouts, it was certainly no warmer in the Bronx than it was in Brooklyn. But no matter. The game was on. The first in the season.

Spring, as far as I am concerned, had officially begun.

Before I moved to New York, in 1994, I had no idea what baseball was. In Europe, we are into soccer. But I lived close to Yankee stadium and went to quite a few games. My boyfriend was pretty good at explaining the rules. Another friend taught me to keep a scorecard, at some National League games, no less. (That was over at Shea Stadium, home of the Mets.) Watching baseball, a game defined by math, statistics, duels, and team effort as much as individual savvy—but not by time—quickly became my favorite form of  leisure. It still is.

On the day we got married at City Hall in Manhattan, my new husband and I, after the lunch with friends, were at a loss what to do; we had not thought to fill the hours until we were leaving on a trip to England. We ironed some shirts. We packed. Then we decided to head to Yankee Stadium. Thank goodness we had gotten married on a day a home game was scheduled. We ate hotdogs and drank tepid beers. It was one of the best days of my life.

More than fifteen years later, long by myself, I am still watching the game and am still loving it. My favorite Yankee of those early games, the catcher, has been the manager for a few seasons now. (Seriously, is there a sexier man out there than Joe Girardi?) But I am not a devoted fan, I just fell in with the bunch that were geographically closest, and I do retain a very soft spot for them. On television, however, I’ll grab whatever game is available. Often, at the end of a long day, that will be a few innings of any game played on the West Coast.

During the winter, I turn on the television maybe once or twice a week. Tonight, I feel safe. In fact, I will be safe for the next six, even seven months (counting the post-season). I’ll probably attend a couple of live games over the summer. But whenever I get home now after an über-long day and need to unwind, I’ll know just what to do. Whether I am making dinner, going over my daughter’s homework, sewing a button back on, or filing my nails, a small wave of the remote will put me safely into baseball land. Even if I have to put on that heavy winter coat for a few more days, spring has sprung, and it will last well into October.

P. S.: The Yankees pulled ahead in the 7th inning to win 6-3. I won’t lie: It was sweet to see Mariano Rivera close it out in the top of the 9th… Even sweeter to be in bed by 10:30.

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