Baseball, and cricket, are the only ball games in which the defense possesses the ball. Think about that.
For New York visitors who did not grow up near the North America/South America baseball axis, I’m proposing a $55 way to develop a sense of its offensive side.
Holding a bat, you stand in a cage. A machine throws baseballs at your strike zone, beginning at 35 miles per hour—that’s about 55 kph; you can build up to about 120kph. Pros throw 150.
You’ll probably miss the first pitch, possibly foul off the next one, maybe whack the third—starting to feel good, you’ll go for a few more. Pretty soon you’re probably developing blisters, you’re sweating through your t-shirt AND your outer shirt, the waist of your jeans is beginning to soak through and you wish you’d brought a change of clothes. Maybe you should buy a sweatband for your head so that you can finish the half hour.
It’s a real workout. The older you are, the harder it is. But if you hit even only a few with really good wood, you’ll get a sense of what’s with this ethos.
Forget weekends, that’s when all the kids on the UWS are in there; go on a weekday between 10:30 and 15:00. There’s a bar across the street to quench your thirst afterward or go into Fairway and buy some cold, cut up pineapple, cantaloupe or something like that.