Sarris: Germany, Lithuania, Jamaica; you never know where baseball will find you

From SABR member Eno Sarris at The Athletic on November 20, 2018:

The​ first sport​ I played was barefoot soccer, in​ the​ open fields of​ Negril, Jamaica.​ I was born​ there,​ and​​ lived there until it was time for first grade. The second sport I played was handball, on the courts by my school in Hamburg, Germany. It didn’t take. But it was there, at International School, that I finally fell in love with a sport.

It doesn’t roll off the tongue in German, baseball, and the looks I got at first didn’t suggest that it would be a lifelong thing. But I was already weird, and so I persevered, and we played a sort of stickball sometimes after school, a few Americans, a few Germans, and me trying to sort it all out and explain rules I barely understood in a language I barely knew.

Something about those games allowed me to square a problem that had me in circles as a kid, even if I couldn’t quite put it in words: How was I going to be myself and feel like part of a whole? How was I going to be both the weird curly-haired German Jamaican but also part of the crew?

It turns out I wasn’t alone in finding baseball where and when I did, even as I took a path that felt unique to me.

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Originally published: November 20, 2018. Last Updated: November 20, 2018.