american pastime, seventh inning stretch, captain jack sparrow

Why do they wear hats?

This is a true Tessa question.

I’ll admit, when my mom and extended family said/wrote on my wall, Go Gamecocks, my mind raced. What sports season are we in?


The American pastime (pass-time?). It always brings questions to my mind. Questions, yes, I have many in life.

As you know, I’ve grown up outside the U.S. and baseball hasn’t really been a staple in my life. Yes, they plan in Japan, but I lived in China. I won’t go into the political and historical implications.

I’ve been to a few games, two, maybe, a Rangers game and several Baylor games. None of the games I went to were particularly enthralling.  But then again, I hear you go for the atmosphere (This can be expensive atmosphere, enjoy the air).

The college World Series just took place, as I found out one game in to the series, that’s series lowercase, lest we get confused with the bigger event, or are they the same? The University of South Carolina took on the Florida Gators.

I am a staunch Carolina fan, as is my entire mom’s side of the family. Many of my family members are alums and/or have grown up a Gamecock. I was not allowed to wear orange growing up and neither were my cousins. I recently found out from a Clemson fan that he doesn’t allow his son to utter the word “Gamecock.”  (For those who are not acquainted with the SEC and South Carolina rivalries, Clemson University is the arch nemesis of Carolina. Their color is orange and purple, random, I know). The rivalry is serious.

I naturally will cheer for Carolina in any sporting event as I of course will and do cheer on Baylor University as I am an alumna and have grown up a Baylor Bear since infancy. My dad’s side of the family has several generations of Baylor Bears. One time in my college career, Baylor played Carolina in basketball. I sat in the Bear Pit, the crazy student section, with my jersey and I sported a Carolina baseball cap. I wasn’t too popular among my Baylor compatriots.

I’ll always cheer on both universities on in whatever sporting event.

My mom and dad and I Skyped through portions of the last two baseball games. I had many questions and musings.

The second game in the series went into 11 innings I believe.

“Is it like sudden death in soccer? Whoever scores, wins?” I ask.

“No honey,” my dad and mom said. Florida bats last. Ah, right.

Then, today, in the third game, I forget that there are normally nine innings, I’d misremembered and thought there were seven. Oops.

The seventh inning stretch. Ah yes, stretching is good. It reminds me of the intermission in movie theaters in India. I hear they stop the movie at exactly halfway through the movie, even if it’s in mid-sentence. Everyone gets up an uses the little girls or little boys rooms and buys meals.

Do the players stretch more than they normally do during this time period?

I couldn’t help but think that the pitcher’s dominant arm must be massive in comparison to their dominant arm. Are they then lopsided because of the imbalance of weight? Maybe this causes a swagger in their walk. Think Captain Jack Sparrow, without the rum.

I think it would stink to be the catcher. You are Asian squatting for ump-teen (not to be confused with umpire, which also sounds like empire, maybe they have empires) innings. The catcher has to arrange his mitt and catch ridiculously fast balls. Balls that go faster than any car in Thailand ever has. I can’t fathom throwing something faster than a car. Can you?

Also, can you imagine how bad it would hurt as the batter to get hit by a ball? Yep, that’ll leave a bruise.

Who would try to steal bases when the pitcher can throw as fast as a race car? But then again, does the pitcher have eyes in the back of their head to know they’re stealing bases?

“Why do they wear baseball hats?” I asked my mom on Skype.

“Why do they wear hats,” my mom repeated. “This is a true, true Tessa question.”

I’ve been known throughout my growing up years to ask similar questions, I’ve always got to know the mechanics.

My mom told me they wear hats to shield the sun, even though this particular game is at night, to keep sweat out of their eyes and to “complete the total look of the uniform.”

OK, I can respect that. It’s be like not wearing socks with cleats or volleyball knee pads. And, by the general populace wearing them, we can all simulate the Captain Jack Sparrow swagger without the rum or massive throwing arm.

Baseball. I’m still learning about American culture. I am still asking questions. When you’re a third culture kid, there is always another question because there’s no true place that’s completely home.

Carolina won, by the way. Two-time champs. That’s right.

Don’t forget: it’s not sudden death, there are nine innings unless there’s a tie, you can be Captain Jack Sparrow and don’t get hit by a fastball.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Sam Chen says:

    This post made me smile really big. (Besides the fact that it says you posted it on June 30th and it’s still June 29th where I am.) I’ve always loved and admired the awe and wonder with which you see the world–I’m glad God’s blessed you with that.
    Loved your quote, “There’s no true place that’s completely home.” Such is the heart of a missionary’s kid and, I believe, should be the heart of a Jesus follower. Isn’t home where the heart is? If so, I hope my home (and yours) is with God. As C.S. Lewis once wrote, “The Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”
    Thanks for sharing, Tessa. Your eyes set upon heaven–your true home–is an inspiration to many, especially me.

    PS- I’ve been hit and hit my fair share of batters. Yes, it hurts. But not as bad as being hit with a golf ball.

  2. Megan says:

    I loved this post. It made me miss you (and baseball) a lot :)

  3. Rick Davis says:

    Hey Tessa,
    I like what you write and just started to follow you on Twitter. I think you should have an “About Me” blurp, at least a couple of sentences in your sidebar or something that tells a little bit about you. Just a suggestion.

    As far as why they wear hats: it’s so that they can tip them to a beautiful woman like you when they greet you.


  4. thaitessa says:

    Hi Rick,

    Thank you for your comment and for the follow! I do have an “About Me” of sorts, it’s under the tab “There Once Was A Girl” at the top of the page. I’ll think about including a sidebar on the page too.

    I will check out your Web site as well.



  5. thaitessa says:


    Thank you for the encouragement! You are very right, home is with Christ. That’s been my solstice. I like the Harry Potter quote.
    Thank you for your friendship!

  6. thaitessa says:

    I thought of you when I wrote it :)

    I miss you!

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