Almost twenty three years ago, I started my love for a sport and a sports team. I was a passenger along for a Saturday of baseball with my high school girlfriend’s parents. They had invited me to go to San Francisco to watch the family’s favorite team. This was going to be a mix of emotions for me, because at heart, I really didn’t enjoy baseball.
I knew for the most part, it was a game between two players, a pitcher and a batter. That was it. The rest, as far as I was concerned, was left for over paid athletes who scratched, chewed, and spit all the while waiting to make a play
The day was a great one. If I can remember correctly, hot dogs, sunflower seeds and Pepsi were the menu if the day. And a long day it was. I was to learn the meaning of a what they call in the Major Leagues, as a double header. The Giants were playing against the Ted Turner owned, Atlanta Braves.
It was a windy day at Candlestick Park, but the sun found it’s way to the field. The green grass is still a vibrant memory in my head as are the names Clark, Mitchell, Uribe, Maldonado and Aldrete.
I left that park that day still not convinced that baseball was “all that”, but I did leave with my team.
Over the next few years I entered the underworld of fandom, fighting my best friend Mark, and his accursed Dodgers. After high school, Mark made his way to Russia. Even in the land of vodka and perestroika, Mark found a way to send a Western Union telegram, which read, “Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Giants suck! Dodgers Rule!”, or something to that effect. Even after the cross continental bashing from Mark, I never really learned the game of baseball.
Enter Steve and Larry.
Steve entered my life as a transferred workmate who came down from San Jose. His brother Larry, followed shortly after
I could write volumes about Steve, Larry and mines adventures, but for right now, I just want to focus on baseball.
Steve and Larry gave me the love of baseball. The little nuances of how the coaches work. The excitement of every pitch. This is a gift I can never repay.
We lost Steve during the Giant’s playoff run to their first World Series Championship title ever in the city by the bay. We watched “The Freak”, Timmy Lincecum, go nuts on the Atlanta Braves, and the next day he left us.
Move ahead to last weekend. Easter Sunday. Tia and I pack up the Sante Fe, coffee up and head to The City. A vendor from work got the sales force tickets to Sunday’s battle against Chipper Jones and the boys from Atlanta. I’m sensing a reoccurring theme here.
Despite losing in extra innings, I had a glorious time in AT&T Park. It was my first time there, and it was everything it’s cracked up to be. Buster Posey hit a two run homer that electrified the stadium and garlic fries and Coke seemed to land a grand slam with our stomachs.
Twenty three years ago, the Giants of San Francisco took on the Braves of Atlanta. Last weekend, the same teams took up the battle once again. The time in between?
I spent it learning to be a fan.
Posted from WordPress for Windows Phone