There’s something about the sound of a bat’s crack as it strikes a pitched ball.

It’s an unmistakable sound. Friday, it returned to stadiums across the country, on the radio and on our TV sets.

Major League Baseball is something that sticks with so many people across the generations. Those who love the game can recall those certain times when they first fell for it.

Baseball is only a part of what makes our summer what it is. As we all have been trying to find some semblance of what normal was and what normal is, we’ve thankfully had some incredible weather to shake some of the cabin fever we experienced because the coronavirus pandemic and the spring weather we have.

Cruising through downtown Ludington, it’s clear our area can still pack in the visitors. Just Sunday morning, the tables were full outside Cafe 106, and it looked like there was a line of people looking to have something to eat at Old Hamlin.

Our campgrounds are busy, from Ludington State Park to Buttersville to beyond. And has anyone attempted to count the number of kayaks poking out of the back of pick-ups, mounted to the top of cars or being pulled behind a car?

We’re all finding different ways, but the same ways, to do things we’ve always done. We’re still getting our ice cream — has anyone seen the lines outside the House of Flavors and Dairy Queen lately?

It’s certainly a time of more barbecues, both at home and at the parks. It’s also a time of perhaps taking a sandwich and more out for a picnic. Even if you don’t feel comfortable eating inside an establishment, you could take it to go and eat on a blanket.

We may not have the events and the like to draw in crowds like we normally have for our summers. But we still have quite a bit around us that draws people in. We’re doing all of this in a different way.

That crack of the bat, though. The beauty of baseball is you don’t have to sit and watch pitch after pitch. You don’t have to listen to each one, either. You can read, barbecue or work in the yard and there’s those sounds of summer, right there with you.

Now that Major League Baseball has returned to our airwaves, TV or radio, and although our ability to watch baseball in person is limited to places such as the Manistee Saints or just a handful of places around the state, it’s one more way that it shows that the old normal is back.

You only have to look for the old familiar sights and the old familiar sounds.

The Managing Editor for the Ludington Daily News since June 2018 and on the staff since Oct. 2011, taking over for legendary Lloyd Wallace. Previously with The Chippewa Herald in Chippewa Falls, Wis., and the Tuscola County Advertiser in Caro.