Life As We Know It: May 6, 2013

        Good afternoon, sports fans. We’re well into another baseball season, and for a foreign visitor -- or any individual who is unfamiliar with the sport -- the game can be terribly confusing.

        With that in mind, I happily share the following condensed version of the rules of baseball, source unknown. Even if you already know the game, consider this a refresher course. Now pay attention.

        Baseball is a game played by two teams, one out, the other in. The team that’s in sends players out one at a time to see if they can get in before they get out. If they get out before they get in, they come in, but it doesn’t count. If they get in before they get out, it does count.

        When the ones out get three outs from the ones in before they get in without being out, the team that’s out comes in, and the team that’s in goes out to get those going in out before they get in without being out.

        When both teams have been in and out nine times, the game is over. The team with the most in without being out before coming in wins, unless the ones in are equal. In which case, the last ones in go out to get the ones in out before they get in without being out.

        The game will end when each team has the same number of ins out but one team has more in without being out before coming in.

        I hope this helps. Baseball is a cerebral sport. Sometimes it’s a good idea to review the ins and outs of the game.

        My passion for baseball has provided many special memories. No, I’m not talking about the time I struck out with the bases loaded. That one still hurts.

        I’m talking about occasions like the night I met Sargent Shriver at the ballpark. Mr. Shriver’s recent death reminded me of a visit 15 years ago to friends in Annapolis, Maryland, who had season tickets to Baltimore Orioles games at Camden Yards.

        Our seats were just beyond the Orioles’ dugout, in the first row. At one point a ground ball was hit foul right toward me. I leaned over the rail and grabbed it. Moments later I felt a tap on my shoulder.

        “Can I see that?” the gentleman asked. I turned around to discover Mr. Shriver sitting right behind us with several younger members of his family.

        “You can see it if you’ll sign it,” I said.

        He did. I still have it.

        Last year you may have watched the world’s best 12-year-old baseball players competing in the Little League World Series. Did you know that the full name of the event was the “Little League World Series Presented by Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes Reduced Sugar?”

        What, the regular frosted flakes are considered performance-enhancing? I’m just asking.