Time is precious… Waste it wisely

Contributing Editor
Walt Pickut


The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. Only workaholics and drill sergeants disagree with that, so why not waste a little time when you want to?

Every battery needs recharging and every hard worker needs a break once in a while. Recreation is a necessary thing. It makes even more sense when you look at that word a little more carefully.

Recreation = Re-creation

This week your Jamestown Gazette invites all of our readers to enjoy a little time off with our national pastime—Baseball. It’s the perfect leisure time spectator sport. Re-create some of your own energy and enjoyment with a little leisure time down at the old ballpark.

Baseball is especially good for that. It doesn’t bash its fans over the head with a timeclock, it’s relaxed and carefree. A baseball game ends when it wants to end. There’s no mad dash to the finish. It sets no new records by finishing faster than ever before. It’s an easy-paced game.

And few sports invite fans to identify with their heroes the way baseball does. It’s hard to identify with a player like the NFL’s defensive lineman, 410-pound William “The Refrigerator” Perry, no matter how much I love watching him stop the equivalent of a freight train play after play. And I just can’t relate personally to Tacko Fall, the Boston Celtic’s tallest player at 7’5” in altitude.

But baseball appeals best to ordinary folks like me who simply can’s stop trains or slam dunk a ball from the height of a skyscraper. Consider Ted Williams on the other hand, one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. He once said, “Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed only three times out of ten and be considered a good performer.” That’s my kind of guy.

Greatness just might be a more believable dream in baseball for an average American. Fans in the stands can relate to the players on the field.

Maybe that’s why I’ll be at the Tarp Skunks’ season opener down at Diethrick Field on June 10. The young men on the field, among the best in the nation, make me believe we can all chase our dreams, too. In baseball, when we “root, root, root for the home team,” we are in some magical way rooting for our best selves, too.

Baseball has an easygoing way of drawing us in and making us fans for life. Jim Bouton, one of major league Baseball’s winningest pitchers, explained it. “You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and, in the end, it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.”

That’s what every great love affair is like, isn’t it? And time spent in that is precious, wisely spent, never wasted. Remember these lyrics?

Katie Casey was baseball mad,
Had the fever and had it bad.
Just to root for the home town crew…
Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd…

I don’t know if Katie Casey will be down at Diethrick Field on June 10, but I will, and I hope you will too.

Read all about it on page 1 of your Jamestown Gazette this week, and as always, enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut

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Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.