I remember when growing up that my family would watch baseball at home, the only time my brother and I are allowed to have sodas, Fritoes and beandip. My parents were such fans, we drove to Yuma or Scottsdale to watch spring training teams play. I am a San Francisco Giants fan, not because of Barry Bonds, but because of Wilie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal. Also, because my youngest daughter became a LA Dodger’s fan. Giants v. Dodgers…a storied rivilary.
I am not a hardcore fan. Not like my Mom, who is the one I would call when water cooler talk would turn to trades or stats. I follow my Mom’s teams during the regular season, so I am informed when we chat on the phone. I usually start watching games once the playoffs teams are established. Except for last year, when I started watching the Giants early in the season, just because of Tim Lincecum.
But, last night, the last regular game of the season was something to behold. The storied Boston Red Sox imploded, the Atlanta Braves crashed and burned, and the Tampa Bay Rays rallied from a seven run deficit, to beat the NY Yankees and capture a playoff berth from the Red Sox.
I was one of a multitude of fans of this sport that stayed up to the wee hours of this morning, to watch the replays, the commentary, the interviews of this extraordinary night. It took me back to weekend drives to Arizona in our Corvair (that’s a blast from the past!), to my mom and I going to a midday game at the Padres stadium (having taken the afternoon off from our family’s business to do so), to taking my son to the same stadium and having field seating, hearing this young, not so easily impressed, man say “wow” when he saw how close we were to the action, to huddling with my youngest daughter in celebration of her 18th birthday, as she began her first year in the Navy, under an umbrella at Atlanta’s stadium in a June rain shower watching the Braves and Orioles for the first time. A tradition continues, and I would wager, not just in my family.
They don’t call it America ‘s game for nothing. Playoffs…here we go!