These are a few of Kasper's favorite things
With all the snark and skepticism in the sports world these days, it is imperative to occasionally take a step back and be a little wistful. Sappiness can be good for the soul sometimes.
What sparked my sentimentality was the Yoenis Cespedes throw from the outfield to home plate last week. I couldn't get enough of it. And it got me thinking about all the things I dig about baseball and broadcasting it every day.
I love watching Anthony Rizzo figure out left-handed pitchers and Starlin Castro having fun again on the field. I admire Luis Valbuena's plate discipline and Neil Ramirez's moxie.
I love witnessing the debut of a highly touted prospect like Gregory Polanco amid a ton of excitement and anticipation in his home park and getting one last chance to see Derek Jeter and Paul Konerko in uniform.
I marvel at future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera and fondly remember seeing him take the league by storm as a 20-year-old in 2003. I also recall with pride having done play-by-play of Cabrera's MLB debut during which he hit a game-ending home run.
I relish being able to go up to Jeter and Konerko and shake their hand for a final time in the clubhouse.
I look forward every day to that spike of adrenaline when the first pitch is thrown and the game broadcast starts in earnest.
I love making Jim Deshaies laugh.
I pinch myself knowing I get to talk baseball every day with Ricky Renteria and on occasion with Mike Redmond, Bruce Bochy, Walt Jocketty, Jimmy Rollins and Joey Votto.
I love the sound in my headphones of the crack of the bat and of Jim Joyce yelling "Steeee-ri-eeeeeeeke!"
There's nothing better than Bob Uecker off-air stories and the tone of Vin Scully's booming voice in the booth next door.
I treasure being able to call Billy Williams and Ernie Banks friends. The same goes for Derrek Lee, Mark DeRosa, Ryan Dempster and Rick Sutcliffe.
I still can't believe I get to call Wrigley Field's home television booth my "office."
I love catching up every year with famous Cubs fans such as Eddie Vedder, Joe Mantegna and Jeff Garlin, who all live and die with the team every day just like the rest of us.
I can't get enough Harry Caray, Jack Brickhouse and Arnie Harris stories from the people who worked with them way back when.
I am lucky to have met a vivacious 97-year-old Lennie Merullo and to hear from him first-hand about playing with Dizzy Dean and Phil Cavarretta and Stan Hack.
I look forward to lunches with WGN production geniuses Jack Rosenberg and Bob Vorwald during which Jack regales us with stories about the good old days at Wrigley Field on Channel 9.
I am so fortunate to have met (and in some cases formed a bond with) some of my favorite broadcasters who sadly have passed away over the years such as Ron Santo, Harry Kalas, Joe Nuxhall, Bob Murphy, Jerry Coleman, Merle Harmon, Herb Carneal, George Kell, Dave Niehaus, Skip Caray, Mike Hegan and my hero, Ernie Harwell.
I am always interested in seeing tweets and emails from Cubs fans from all over the world and especially hand-written letters from those who still prefer to drop a letter in the mail.
I love that baseball is every day. We don't have to wait until next weekend, there's another game tomorrow and pretty much every day after that.
Yes, I could go on forever praising all the things I love about being a baseball fan and broadcaster. Unfortunately, I have to get back to "work."
• Len Kasper is the TV play-by-play broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs. Follow him on Twitter@LenKasper and check out his baseball-blog with Jim Deshaies at wgntv.com.