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A View From the Bleachers

What'll We Do 'Til Spring?

The leaves are changing, the weather's getting colder, and baseball is gone. Put to bed for the winter months until it blossoms again in Spring. Like a lot of baseball fans, I find myself with a lot of free time in my life around this time of year. Sure, there are basketball and football games... and hockey. But I've never been a strong follower of those sports. That led me to the idea of what all us hardcore national pastime fans do in our own, personal offseason.

Consumerism and spending are in full swing as the holidays approach, so I suppose that's one hobby to have... shopping. But if you're like me, you're saving your money for All-Star tickets. So, what does a baseball collector do with his time when winter hits? What hobbies are there when you're not spending your time and money at the ballpark?

I find time to read, catch up on movies I really wanted to see, and spend time with family. Also, I get back into my beloved video game habit that started when I was about seven years old. Nowadays I mostly play Guitar Hero and/or Rock Band. Then there's, depending on your age, work or school. I still have a year left in my graduate program so there's always studying to be done... but it's nowhere near as fun as studying the lefty/lefty matchup between two starting pitchers.

How 'bout it? Fellow baseball fans? What are you up to this winter? How do you spend your offseason? While I know that those in colder climates have many different activities to do us SoCal residents, I'm sure that between all of us we've got some pretty good ideas. Snowboarding, sledding, and skiing come to mind-thanks to the nearby San Bernardino slopes of Big Bear. Also, I'm psyched for all the holidays. Food and family will be in abundance starting with Thanksgiving and carrying on through the New Year.

Or, maybe you use your non-baseball months to prepare for the new season. Who's already made Spring Training plans? I know I've been checking MLB.com every single day to see what awards players have won. Plus, sites like Rotoworld keep me posted on trade rumors and who's being dealt to whom.

I'll keep this entry short and sweet. Whatever you choose to do this season, the most non-baseball-filled season of the year, know that it's a season of thanks and giving... and Thanksgiving. It's a time to reflect on the year and relax with friends and family, a time to eat good food, have good conversations, and do good (yes, I said 'do good'). That's right-remember those less fortunate than you. Remember that there are men and women fighting for this country-to keep us safe and free. Remember that if you're reading this article on the web then you're more fortunate than most of the world because they don't have access to a computer. Remember that baseball is a part of all our lives, but there's (often) more to the world then just the game we love. Have a great Fall, Winter, and Holiday Season, wherever you are!

Matt Jackson is a contributing columnist to myGameBalls.com and also maintains a Blog.

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