As you may or may not know, I spent the majority of last Spring getting into baseball. I watched Ken Burn’s Baseball, I read Jose Canseco’s absolutely riveting biography, and I even went to a couple of games last year.
Unfortunately, my truncated attention span only allowed me to follow the sport through mid-June, at which point I started preparing for Halloween.
But, in spite of my failure to follow a team through an entire season, something stuck. I’ve dug up my baseball. I started wearing my hat again. I began to poke around through the news and playing catch-up (What happened to Bobby Valentine? Who’s Stephen Drew? Why is Kelly Shoppach playing for the Mets now?). It’s starting again.
But this year, I decided to make a small change. I won’t just be following the Red Sox. Because, after all, if I had trouble following one team, I obviously need to up the ante. This year, I want to follow a National League team as well. Not in a serious, die-hard way, but in a more loose, easy going way. I won’t get busted up if I miss their games. I won’t go crazy if they lose all the time. Just a little something extra on the side when the Sox aren’t playing.
After thinking about it long and hard, I decided that the team that I absolutely should follow is, of course, the Chicago Cubs. I’m looking forward to next season!
Go Red Sox! (And Cubs)
It was exciting and agonizing and really cold and I hate Buchholz and Punto, though Punto made it better at the end and it was tiring and aggravating and thrilling and and and and…
I want to go again.
A longer write-up…whenever. I’m too tired now to do it right.
This’ll do for now.
For the first time, tomorrow, I’m going to a Red Sox game.
I’m excited. Really excited. I fell like this is what I’ve been preparing for all this time. This experience.
I’ve read about the history of baseball. I’ve watched documentaries and news clips and autobiographies and biographies and articles. I’ve watched it live and taped and listened to it on the radio. I’ve met (briefly) old players and walked along the infield and even sat in the dugout at Fenway.
And now, just now, I’m going to go to a game.
Lately, I haven’t been feeling that excited about baseball lately. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Dylan, you’re just depressed after that 18-3 loss to the Rangers. And then the subsequent loss after that. And the loss that preceded that one.” To which I say, “Yeah.”
But that’s not the entire reason. I can’t really watch the games, since I don’t have a TV and I’m usually working when the games are on. So I have to listen to the radio. It’s a good way to enjoy the game, if that’s your only option, but I miss watching it and seeing what’s going on. I feel distanced from the game, which is frustrating since the games play less than a mile from where I work.
So, today, when I found out that Fenway was holding an open house, I ran on down like I was on fire. It’s been a while since my Fenway tour and it’ll be more than a week before I can go to a game. This was a great way to get back into the baseball atmosphere quick and cheap as free.
I’m so glad I went. I met some players (Gary Bell thinks I’m old enough to have an eight year old kid). I got covered in infield dirt. I got to sit in the dugout. I was surrounded by Sox fans. I saw hundreds of jerseys that said Damon and Pedroia and Ramirez and Ortiz and Schilling. I saw Luis Tiant signing autographs for fans out in the parking lot, even though he could have totally just run for his car and driven off, cackling.
The author pretty close to home plate looking concerned.
On some level, aside from the wins and the losses, baseball makes me happy and today reminded me of that.
Of course, if, tomorrow, the Sox would please paste the Highlanders like they did 100 years ago, I would much appreciate it.