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Baseball, a sport unlike any other

The baseball postseason begins this week and people don’t seem to be excited about it.

It’s understandable. Maybe your team didn’t make it or maybe your obsession with Ohio State football supersedes all other sports in your life (as it does for me).

However, I can think of one reason everyone should be excited about watching the best of the best play America’s past-time: cotton candy.

That’s right, those delicious balls of sugar remind me why baseball is great. Let me explain.

I attended a Reds game with my family in July of 1997. The team was struggling through the season, virtually out of the playoff race. As an 8-year-old, I wasn’t concerned and was happy to spend a day at the ballpark.

In the middle of the game, I talked my parents into buying me some cotton candy. After thoroughly enjoying the treat, my hands were a sticky mess. Because sticky fingers are an enormous pet peeve of mine (and still are to this day), I left to wash my hands between innings, assuming I wouldn’t miss anything important.

As I was drying my hands, I heard the crowd erupt with applause and ran back to my seat. I was too late. I had missed seeing Deion Sanders hit an inside-the-park home run, one of the rarest feats in sports. Both my parents and my sister, who cares nothing about sports, got to witness the event. I was crushed.

I have been to countless major and minor league games since 1997 and have never seen an inside-the-park home run live. I have never seen it while watching a live broadcast of a game. I have also refused to eat cotton candy since that day in 1997.

Baseball is the only sport that could cause me, at 8 years old, to begin a 13-year boycott of cotton candy. In no other sport can a miraculous, mind-blowing play come out of nowhere, in a seemingly meaningless inning in a meaningless game.

Don’t get me wrong — all sports can produce miraculous plays. However, ridiculous dunks in basketball and stupendous catches in football are becoming more and more commonplace. And yes, last-second shots and Hail Mary passes are unbelievable live, but who would get out of their seats in the closing minutes of a game when the potential for such a play exists? No true fan.

True sports fans watch for the miraculous moment to happen for their teams, and baseball is the only sport that could deliver such a moment in such a way. Despite the unimportance of the timing, the significance of the play I missed has stuck with me to this day. Until I see an inside-the-park home run live, I will not be eating any cotton candy.

So if you’re contemplating whether to watch the MLB postseason and you are truly a sports fan, just remember cotton candy and flip on the game.

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