It’s opening day for my two favorite baseball teams – the bad news is that they were playing each other. I guess the good news is that I had to be at least half happy with the result.
Baseball has a special place in my heart, having played the game as a kid and having coached my kids in it as an adult. I have many happy memories from my childhood of games seen in Kansas City’s old Municipal Stadium. The A’s weren’t very good, but it was always fun, and there were a lot of weekend double headers.
As an adult, I’ve had a lot of fun going to games in Anaheim (and occasionally in Chavez Ravine) with wives, kids, family, and friends. We still do – do a search for the “LA Angels” tag and you can find plenty of posts. When we travel we try to hit major and minor league parks for a game, and if the Angels are playing against the locals, so much the better. Fenway, Comisky, Safeco – we’ve followed them from one side of the country to the other.
If we need some background noise while working on something, there’s nothing better than a baseball game. There’s a rhythm, a cadence to a baseball broadcast, something that also harkens back to childhood. In the early 1960’s we didn’t have every game on television like we do today. We were lucky to get one game a week, and it rarely was our team. There was no such thing as a local broadcast station or network. If you weren’t there, you listened on the radio. I did a LOT of listening on the radio.
Even now, on a long cross-country trip in the summer, there’s nothing better at night than to pull in some far away broadcast on a clear-channel station. On a good night in the desert you can hear games from San Francisco, Phoenix, Seattle, Denver, Houston. When my family first moved to Vermont and I was missing my friends, my music, and my Cubbies, on a good night I could pull in the broadcast for a few minutes before it faded out.
Not every game’s a gem. It truly is a long season. But that’s part of it all.
I grew up with the game and my kids did as well. I may have screwed up a few things as a parent, but that wouldn’t be one of them. The Youngest Daughter was at opening night in Anaheim tonight with her boyfriend. We’ve been to a lot of home openers, but it was not to be for me tonight. But it’s great to have spring training over, the games counting, and hope springing eternal.
Losing 9-0 in the bottom of the ninth? We’ve got ’em right where we want ’em! It’s hero time!