When the Coronavirus pandemic hit the United States and forced everyday life into a time of virtual existence and quarantine, the sports world came to a complete stop and the 2020 Ole Miss baseball season was over after a 16-1 start to the season.
It was an electric first portion of the year that saw the unofficially official National Champion Rebels put up ridiculous numbers. Before the stoppage, the team hit .294 with 37 home runs. There was something special about the 2020 roster, and that made the pill of cancellation even harder to swallow.
To catch a game at Swayze Field is an out-of-body experience that some college baseball fans may only get to enjoy once. We, on the other hand, have the fortune of being in attendance on more than one occasion and being able to return again.
That doesn’t mean I don’t miss it like hell.
Here are the things I miss the most about Ole Miss baseball:
- I miss high-fiving a stranger.
- I miss sunflower seeds.
- I miss the distinct smell of cheap domestic beer and Mississippi summer sweat wafting about right field. You know the one— where you can smell yourself.
- I miss that feeling in the pit of your stomach that can lead as easily to sickening disappointment as giddy excitement and makes you feel alive.
- I miss the slow clap during two-strike counts.
- I miss The Gap Band.
- I miss the perfectly-timed bathroom run.
- I miss the random faces you recognize at every game but never speak to.
- I miss Doug Nikhazy.
- I miss foul balls presented by Oxford University Bank.
- I miss walk-up songs.
- I miss peanut, butter, jelly time.
- I miss nonsensical words that are only acceptable in baseball. See: ‘humbabe’
- I miss watching drunk guys fall down the hill below the right field terrace.
- I miss falling down the hill below the right field terrace.
- I miss questioning Mike Bianco’s decision to bunt.
- I miss charcoal grills.
- I miss the art of the chirp.
- I miss saying “if it’s fair it’s gone” when a foul ball is hammered over the backstop.
- I miss David Guetta.
- I miss the outlandish takes from some dude in a Cubs jersey two rows back.
- I miss inning-ending double plays.
- I miss over-extending my Busch Light drowned brain for quips to write on the warm-up ball.
- I miss strolling behind the plate with a snow cone on a humid Sunday afternoon.
- I miss dollar dogs.
Most of all, I miss having fun. I miss Ole Miss Baseball.