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Becoming a baseball fan

When I grew up in NYC I was a Yankees fan. In the late 40s early 50's I went to a few games, listened to some on the radio (TV was new, games were not on it and we didn't have one) and talked with friends about it. I remember in 6th grade one of my friends new every american league players batting average as of the night before. My father was a Giants fan and I went with him to a few games in the Polo Grounds and Ebbets field. I started losing interest in the Yankees and in 1955 rooted for the Dodgers when they won the World Series. I was a sort-of Milwaukee Braves fan for a couple of years but that petered out too.

I moved to Cambridge in 1962 and paid no attention to baseball at all. It didn't exist. I don't remember even being aware of the Red Sox being in the World Series in 1967 and 1975. I must have known though since I did read the Boston Globe at least some of the time. I think I went to a game in about 1980 with people from work but I remember nothing about it at all.

The one October day in 1986, I said to rsc, you know the Red Sox are in the World Series against the Mets - lets turn on the TV. I have no idea what prompted me into doing that. I think we watched all the games. What is bad, bad, bad is that I was rooting for the Mets!!! Why? Well the Red Sox had been the enemy from the old days, and my mother was a half-hearted Mets fan. After the series baseball disappeared from my scope again.

In 1988, the Red Sox changed managers to a crusty character - Joe Morgan (not the one on ESPN) and went on an incredible winning streak. We started watching and became slightly hooked (now I was a Red Sox fan). We started paying attention to the team, watched some games and went to the first game in 1990. A few games a year and in 1994 we became season's ticket holders (sharing 50 night games) with some other people - we go to 20-24 games.

So now it is complete addiction. About 3 hours a day watching or going to every game when we aren't doing something else. Listening on the radio in the car if we are going somewhere at game time. An hour a day on the net and in the newspapers reading about yesterday. Buying books, checking statistics, speculating, occasionally listening to Talk Radio.... When watching games on TV, there are lots of 2 minute breaks which are ideal for channel surfing, seeing a bit of some old bad show or a step or two in some recipe on FoodTV.

Sometimes I long for the good old days when I had 4 more hours a day to waste on something else. But it is worth it - some boredom, lots of speculation about what is going happen next which is what makes what seems dull to the casual observer very interesting, some good baseball playing by talented athletes with good bodies (somewhat hidden by slightly baggy uniforms) and some incredibly exciting moments (such as last night when Trot Nixon got a hit against Brendon Donnelly (who had given up only 5 runs in 50 innings - an amazing record) that scored the winning run.

Let's Go Red Sox
clap clap
clap clap clap!

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...to a cure is admitting you have a problem.

And what about the last game of the year. I always feel such sorrow on the last day of the regular season. Then again for the last game of the World Series.

But such joy at the first broadcast game of Spring Training and the first regular game of the season.

Gotta run, our game's in Cleveland tonight so it starts at 4! (I do not envy the time difference for you guys on the east coast. I could hardly even stay up late enough for the first pitch.)

I used to detest baseball. It was so dull and boring. Then my girlfriend in high school dragged me to a Padres-Reds game and I was hooked. I became an even bigger fan when I started umpiring Little League ball a few years ago. Last year's labor strife (and the manner in which the Padres tanked a promising season) turned me off a bit, but I know I'll find my way back eventually.

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