With the unusual amount of snow and ice and the bitter cold temperatures we have had to endure here in the D.C. area this winter, it sometimes feels as though summer will never arrive. But it is, indeed, coming. And one sure sign of summer’s impending arrival is baseball season’s opening day. So take heart, because one month from tomorrow is the official start of the 2015 season.
To celebrate this fact I chose to ride to the Federal Reserve Annex on this lunchtime bike ride. Now that may seem like an odd choice, but I chose it because of an art installation entitled “Full Count,” which may be found on the north lawn of the grounds of the annex, located near the intersection of Virginia Avenue and 20th Street (MAP) in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of northwest D.C.
Full Count is a collection of four life-size bronze figures depicting a baseball pitcher, a catcher, a batter and a home plate umpire. Created by American sculptor John Dreyfuss, the statues are arranged to capture the pinnacle moment of America’s official pastime – a moment when anything is possible. As the pitcher contemplates what pitch he will throw to home plate, 60 feet and 6 inches away, the batter stands tall as he prepares to take his stance to await the pitch and a chance to take a swing. The catcher and umpire lean in close. It’s not just the batter’s turn at the plate that is at stake. The entire game can hinge on this moment. It’s a full count, and the next pitch could be the most important of the game. Will the batter foul it off and prolong the drama? Or maybe it will be a strike, and the batter’s team will go down in defeat. Perhaps it will be every little leaguers dream – a walk-off homerun. It is all up to your imagination in the moments that you experience “Full Count.”
But for now it’s back to reality, as the snow on the ground near the statues attests. It is still just over a month until opening day at Nationals Park and other ballparks around the country. And the players are still far away, at spring training in warm locations like Florida or Arizona. So for now, we just have to remember that like baseball and the boys of summer, the warm weather will be here soon enough.