Luke Graham.

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Luke Graham.

Luke Graham: America's pastime living in Steamboat

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Luke Graham

Luke Graham's column appears periodically in the Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4229 or lgraham@SteamboatToday.com.

Find more columns by Luke here.

There's a reason they call it the American Pastime.

Baseball transcends the game itself.

Baseball is blind. You don't have to be rich to play it. It doesn't matter your class, gender or social status.

You play the game if you love it.

The Steamboat Springs High School baseball team certainly loves it.

The team has to.

How else can you explain what this team has been through and had to do to play the game?

The team has had more games canceled, rescheduled, postponed, delayed and moved around than probably any team in the state.

The team also has made indoor baseball fashionable. When the team does get the chance to venture outdoors, the corner pylon on the football field doubles as home plate.

Although it's pretty much the status quo for all mountain baseball teams, Steamboat's taken it to a different level.

With the incredible winter Northwest Colorado received, Steamboat - which normally plays its home games in Craig - hasn't traveled less than 120 miles for any game. With Craig experiencing the same thing, and its field looking like a mud pit, trying to play the classic rivalry has been nothing short of impossible. It's been rescheduled numerous times. It was moved to Rangely, only to see the Rangely field get washed out by a storm.

But that's what has made this team, this season and specifically Saturday's split against Rifle so beautiful.

These are a bunch of kids who love the game.

They haven't had the luxury of Rifle, Glenwood Springs, Battle Mountain, Palisade, Delta or any team on the Front Range. They haven't had a "home game" in Craig yet. They probably won't.

It doesn't matter. Today, the team will meet after school in the gym, take grounders on the hardwood, pull out the batting cage, practice for a couple of hours and prepare for the next trip.

And that - the travel, the unusual practice, the time on the road and the love for the game - is why baseball is still the American Pastime.

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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