Major League pitchers and catchers reported for spring training this week. When I was a little girl, I loved (read: LOVED) baseball. It was always a bit of a mystery how I became a such a fan. Photography, on the other hand, was easy to pinpoint. That comes from my mom's side of the family, skipping her. But, back to baseball. Spring training symbolized fresh hope as players prepared for the new season. I was a loyal Detroit Tiger fan. Mark Fidrych, Jason Thompson, Steve Kemp, Ron LeFlore, Aurelio Rodriguez, Rusty Staub, John Wockenfuss...those names rolled off my tongue like they were my best friends. While most girls were playing with Barbies, I was studying ERAs and batting averages and reading Ron LeFlore's autobiography 'One in a Million' (One of the best stocking stuffers I received as a kid). Unfortunately, back then, the Tigers were cellar dwellers in the standings. But, every February, there was renewed hope that maybe, just maybe, this would be their season to win the pennant. When the season got underway in April, and it was rapidly apparent this would not be the Tigers' season, I still would listen to all the ballgames on the radio. If it was a night game, I'd tuck my little transistor radio under my pillow to catch all the action, while the rest of the house thought I was sound asleep. The west coast games were a killer -- 10 p.m. first pitch. I remember waking up on more than one hot summer night at 3 a.m., long after the game had concluded, wondering why muzak was emanating from my pillow, and more importantly, dying to know the score. So, it's 35+ years later, and I live in the thick of spring training. I really don't follow baseball anymore...but, I always attend some spring training games. There's nothing like that feeling of wiping the slate clean and knowing sweet dreams of victory on the diamond are waiting to become reality. Play ball!