Monday, October 22, 2012

There's No Crying in Baseball

But there is emotion.  Lots of emotion. Love. Hate. Sadness. Frustration. Irritation. Elation. Joy.

I could keep going, but you get the idea.

We are a baseball family. I was born a Cleveland Indians fan. Used to listen to Herb Score on the radio during my childhood summers.  My first game was at the old Muni Stadium.  It was so empty my family had the entire section to ourselves.  But we didn't care.  It was the Indians. Our boys. I adored Orel Hershiser at a young age.  It didn't matter that he pitched for the Dodgers.  He was amazing.  I followed his career via the newspapers and scattered national broadcasts I could watch.  One Christmas I asked for a set of baseball cards that had these little records attached to the back of them and came with a little player.  One of the included players was Orel.  I listened to that card over and over and over and over until it wouldn't play anymore.  I honed my reading skills at my grandma's house, reading aloud from a novel about Lou Gehrig that had been my dad's as a boy.  I read tales of Lou's father playing pinochle. Learned what a delicatessen was.  Discovered why he threw and batted left instead of right.  I adored him. 

I married a baseball fan.  He is a lifelong Detroit Tigers fan.  Grew up listening to Ernie Harwell.  Entered into our marriage with a stake in a season ticket package.  Our son has become a lifelong Tiger fan as well.  His first player he adores-Austin Jackson.  Can't say that I blame him.  That number 14, so quick on his feet and solid at the plate, he is a player to have in your corner.  Even though I am devout in my love for my Cleveland boys, I am a lover of the sport.  I love a good pitcher-and Justin Verlander is as good as they come right now.  I love watching the battle between batter and pitcher during each at bat.  I love the race during the playoffs.  While my boys didn't come close this year, I am thrilled that the Tigers are representing our division.  Thrilled for the men in my life, and thrilled for a city that needs its spirits buoyed.

Since baseball is so integral to my family (this summer alone we saw 10 games I can count, but it may be more) we have decided to include it in our California trip.  The idea came up during breakfast over the weekend and blossomed into two separate teams and two separate parks.  We're looking at a stop in both the Dodger Stadium and AT&T Park.  We aren't out to cross each MLB Park off our list of places to see, but taking in a game on a summer evening is just about as good as it gets for us.  And while we travel we love to become part of the culture of the place.  Baseball has a way of doing that.  Be it Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. 

Yes, we will root for the home team while in the home stadium.  We will eat the food.  Drink the beer (or root beer in the case of our boy).  Snack on the peanuts.  And after the sun has set and the lights flash on we will head back to our temporary home for our California adventure feeling a bit more tied to the place we call home those two weeks.