Abigail Brenner, a psychiatrist, wrote a beautiful piece about the vernal equinox, or spring renewal, in a non-denominational way. Our annual trek to Spring Training clearly qualifies as a form of renewal by Brenner’s criteria. Few books capture the spirit of Spring Training better than the one written by Dan Saughnessy with photographs by Stan Grossfeld.
The jacket liner of the book contains a near-perfect paragraph: “The words spring training have long held special power over baseball fans. They signal the arrival of fresh air and sunshine after a long winter devoid of bare feet and box scores. The chance to see the game up close and personal, in beautiful slow motion. No other sport undergoes this slow, glorious unfolding.” Add to that Cal Ripken’s comments in his introduction: “I think there’s always a feeling of renewal in spring training, especially when you are coming out of a winter climate. The weather’s going to get warm. Everyone in the ball club is going to be back together as a group, happy just to be playing baseball again. It’s simple, really. But then everything seems simple when it comes to spring training.”