Take me out to the ball game
It’s the night before opening day. Barry Pepper as Roger Marris is flexin’ on the living room screen, the chills, running through my body. And then it hit me. I forgot how much I loved baseball. The players. The cheering crowd. The cards. The collectible coins. How could I forget the coins!!
1998 was an interesting year for me. Tomboy looking girly girl. Flat chested, messy unruly hair, giant bubble jacket and a beanie baby in hand. I was dainty but wild. Those were the days I spent collecting anything and everything. Starting with memories.
My mom at the time was dating this Cuban man. Tall, fancy and into baseball. His family welcomed us with open arms and empanadas. Gosh I love a Latin woman who can cook. In his efforts to schmooze my mother he invited me to games with him. Did he not have friends? Not sure what happened first my love affair with the game or our “pretend daddy/daughter” dates.
How did he know I liked the game? Did he even care? Was I that easily manipulated? He took me to so many games. It became our thing. I studied the stats, the players, I even collected the game souvenirs. In my mind I was out there in center field gracefully catching them fly balls like a gazelle on speed. I even attempted to audition for the town softball team but freaked out when I saw how many kids were there. My mom still never lets me live that down.
Sports has this way of bringing people together. Whether you’re rooting for the opposing team or cheering on the home team. We all have come together to share in the excitement of winning and losing. It’s why I love sports. It’s the one time America is united. And my God do Americans love baseball.
If baseball is America’s sport then the Yankees are America’s sweetheart. The team has produced some of the greats. Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Roger Marris, Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Derek Jeter. When I was a fan, the team was on an all time high. They won three championships back to back. One of those year my grandmother took me out of school to attend their parade. This was when winter actually happened in October, we lasted about ten minutes, I saw Jeter and high tailed it to my moms job that was a block away. That was my last memory of the game. Until yesterday.
Yesterday as I watched 61* for the umpteenth time, I got teary eyed. As if I was in the stands watching Roger Marris hit that 61st home run. They couldn’t have picked a dreamier actor. He embodied what I envision Marris to be like, a kind humble loving hero! It’s why I fell in love with baseball. You were watching regular men become Gods right before your eyes. And the Yankee Stadium is where you went to worship them. Although the new stadium is cool, I’ll never forget the feeling of sitting in the stands inside the house that Babe Ruth built. It was magic.
This season take a day for yourself to bask in the history of being a baseball fan. When times were hard people rallied in the stands. When men went to war, women stepped in to entertain. Watching a baseball game is about as American as America can get.
Love More, Peace More and Roar More.
Your Revived Yankees Fan,