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IN THEIR OWN WORDS

DEPRIVATION AND DESPERATION

By Chase Franken

 

The definition of baseball is “a ball game played between two teams of nine on a field with a diamond-shaped circuit of four bases.” A game that can simply change a life… or millions of them. Fathers and sons are out in the backyard each day tossing a white ball with red seams that doesn’t seem like a big deal. It is. That game of catch can bond a father and a son. The conversations I have had with my father while playing a game of catch go beyond baseball. So yes a white ball being tossed back and forth does mean a little something more than what it seems like. Right now a kid and his father walk into their home to turn on Sportstime Ohio to watch their beloved Indians baseball team… but there isn’t a game on. There’s no crack of the bat or the cheering of the crowd every time a big play is made. The father and son who planned to watch the game together have been deprived of their opportunity to bond once again. Tell me that baseball is just a game. Tell me that taking it away is what is best for us.

 

God has blessed my teammates and me with a unique talent. It takes a little more than physique and athleticism to be able to play the game of baseball. It takes hard work and dedication to boring details, and those boring details end up meaning the most in the big situations. If this much detail is put into someone’s work, then it becomes a lifestyle. We hear that all the time don’t we? “Baseball isn’t just a game, it’s a lifestyle.” People laugh at it, but it’s true. Just like any other sport or activity or career that you worked hard to perfect, baseball takes over someone’s life. Once again I say. Tell me that taking this away is what’s best for us.

 

Why is it fair that everyone else got to graduate in the correct way? Why can’t we be the same as everyone else? Why us? When we’re all grown men and women and we look back we’re going to see an incomplete senior year. We’re going to see all of the opportunities that were lost in the amount of time we missed. Some senior years end in state championships that change lives forever. Do we really want to take that chance away from the high school ballers who have dreamed of winning it all? Are we even saving lives by taking away those moments? Are we overprotecting teenagers who are barely at risk if at all? No one really seems to know. We have never done this before and it makes us seniors really sad that the people in charge don’t see the situation too well through our eyes.

 

I am mindful that people are getting seriously ill and dying in America and around the world. This disease is very serious. No one wants to see their family member or friend pass away, especially from this virus. My grandpa is 80 years old and is considered a high risk. We know the dangers.

 

Are we sure taking away our rights is saving my grandpa’s life? I don’t think everyone agrees. It hurts to know that the elders in my life have no say in what happens to our school year or season. My grandpas really want me to play. One of them even came home all the way from South Korea to watch me. My friends and I have been dreaming of the year 2020 since we were kids. We always knew this was our big year. This year we are supposed to get to attend our last prom, play our last seasons, run our last meets. And none of us have a choice on if we can do these things or not. What hope do we have? Can anyone see this through our eyes? Can anyone realize that they most likely do not know what having their senior year taken away feels like? It hurts to say the least. I can guarantee one thing. My family would much rather watch me play my senior baseball season then be protected from a virus even if it’s a terrible one. This has never been done before and we’re just all wondering I guess why this year everything has to be canceled when the country has had so many die before from other viruses.

 

As time goes on during this break I can feel my sense of reality dwindling away. I’m waiting to wake up from this dream. I’m sure most of my classmates and teammates can agree with me. We live in the most free country in the world and we can’t even participate in our last season? Our last year? This has a heavier effect on kids that deal with depression. Having this disorder only gets worse when situations like these occur. We’re living in a dystopian society and depression is going to begin to take over if we don’t return to real life soon. To the naked eye, who wouldn’t think that this is the right thing to do? Shutting everything done just means no physical contact and therefore no spread of disease. But this is America! The land of the free where we get to do the things we love no matter what. No matter what!

 

I’m sure us die hard fans of baseball can agree on one thing. We will do whatever it takes to get back on that field. I will wear a mask if I have to at the plate and if we don’t shake hands after the games then so be it. I love to see the fans in the stands, but at this point I don’t think anyone cares just as long as we play.

 

The Penn-Ohio football game just got canceled. So now along with baseball taking a hard hit, the football players that have worked their whole lives to earn all-star bids like this are deprived of yet another perk that they earned! I think it’s time we as states and as a country take a step back and see this for all that it’s doing. We don’t know what would have taken place if we didn’t “social distance.” What we do know is that each and every senior’s hard-earned rewards are no longer important in some eyes. And kids are also going to begin thinking that something that can be taken away so easily maybe doesn’t deserve all of their time and effort. We flipped the switch off so easily and everyone is waiting for that switch to be flipped back on. I feel terrible for the basketball players who got their state tournament taken away. Imagine the scenes at their households that night. Imagine the look in their eyes when they realized all that they worked for got taken away. Can we think about that before we make decisions in this near future?

 

Lastly, opinions have been voiced about how a three-week return to school isn’t worth it. If you believe this then you must not be in high school or have kids in high school that are dying to finish the year right. So yes three weeks of school is important and I hope at the beginning of May at the latest that hope is restored. I love the game of baseball and all of the relationships it’s built for me. Without baseball, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

 

So tell me that taking all of this away is what’s best for us?  God bless!

 

*It should be noted that I was reluctant at first to write this because I have not yet lost hope for our season. And I hope the people in charge haven’t either!

 

Sincerely,

 

 

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