On Turkey Day, thankful for baseball

On Thanksgiving Day, I'm thankful for baseball. No, it shouldn't outrank the importance of family and friends in our lives, our health and so forth, but it's pretty important to many of us. Some of us make our living in the game and we're glad and thankful there are great O's fans like you out there that make that possible.

So keeping all that in perspective and taking time to relax and just have fun today and not get too deep, I'm thankful for these things among many others:

* That Chris Davis has a great split-finger fastball.

* That three teams decided not to take Dylan Bundy in the 2011 draft, so the Orioles could select him with the fourth pick.

* That I don't have to hear that annoying sound played at Yankee Stadium after a strikeout at least until April.

* That the World Baseball Classic is back next March. OK, not really.

* That they let me make the roster of our Kingsville travel team when I was 18. The coach humored me and, in a very weak moment for him, even let me start once or twice. While I am at it, I'm thankful for my Little League coach who also humored me and let me play a left-handed third base once as I was convinced then that I would succeed Brooks Robinson as Orioles third baseman.

* For the championship I won in Strat-o-Matic baseball when I was in college. We had a trip planned to Cooperstown and held off on playing the finals until we got to Cooperstown. Not a bad place to celebrate a championship.

* While I'm at it, I'm thankful there is an amazing place like Cooperstown, where I have been several times, to learn about and celebrate the game.

* For "Bull Durham." Remember, candlesticks always make a nice gift.

Not just today, but every day I'm thankful and grateful that my job involves reporting on the hometown team that I have loved since I was 6. It's truly a blessing in my life, especially when that hometown team makes the playoffs.

I hope you take time today to be thankful for the important things in your life, and I hope baseball and the fun and debates we have here daily are in there somewhere.

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