Sometimes it’s more than a game of pitch and catch in which a ball is hit and eventually falls into a glove.

Sometimes the game of baseball takes a backseat to something much bigger than itself.

The first-place RubberDucks will conclude their Eastern League Western Division four-game series with the Richmond Flying Squirrels on Memorial Day at Canal Park knowing just how big a privilege it is to play the national pastime.

To a player and coach, they never take it for granted, but to play the game and honor those fallen and those who serve, Monday means just a little more.

“I get chills just thinking about it,” Ducks third baseman Joe Sever said. “I think any day like Monday and the Fourth of July means something more to us just because you’re playing this nation’s pastime and you’re doing it in front of veterans that are coming out to the game and people who have people overseas fighting for our country. It means a lot for us to play this game in front of people as a kind of release on a holiday like that. It’s special to all of us.”

That feeling runs throughout the team and is felt on the field, in the dugout, throughout the stands and in the locker room.

RubberDucks clubhouse assistant David Rininger, 30, sees it and appreciates it even more.

An Army rifleman who served from July 2010 until November 2012 when he was medically retired, Rininger fought in Afghanistan for 10 months beginning in December 2010.

He humbles himself every day and honors Memorial Day 365 days a year, but when he feels the vibe, it’s special.

“I don’t expect anybody to do or say anything,” Rininger said. “That’s fine, but if someone goes above and beyond, it’s really, really appreciated more than people understand.

“I appreciate the players and coaches a lot. They work together as a team and are focused on getting themselves to the best place they can be to move forward. To come up to this day and say, ‘Hey, this is for [the veterans], that’s big. They’re taking away from their livelihood to put this aside when a lot of people would say it’s just one game.”

RubberDucks manager Tony Mansolino, whose brother served in the Coast Guard, knows what the day means and how big a deal it is.

Mansolino has already talked to his team about the meaning of the day and can’t wait to feel the energy that is almost palpable.

“I think there are a lot of times where we get so consumed by baseball and the environment we’re in and know people are buying tickets to see us play,” he said. “I think we forget we are able to do these things because of the people who fought overseas and gave up their lives for us. I’m very well read on our military history and what that is about. I have a lot of friends on that side of the world. We are here because of them.”

He’s not the only one, as RubberDucks owner Ken Babby looks forward to honoring those lost.

“It’s a great day to observe, a great day to honor, a great day to stop for a moment and sort of pick up our normal routine from what we would do on a Monday and say thank you,” Babby said. “To think about the people who gave up their lives for this great country and think about those who are also in active duty that have gone across the globe to serve this great country.”