Tuesday, February 17, 2009

25 Things About Me and Baseball

I kinda stole this idea from Towanda, but her list was so fantastic that I couldn't help it!

1. I love the way that ballparks smell. It's a funny kind of combination of peanuts and beer and fresh air and rosin. There's no other smell like it in the world, and it's fantastic.

2. I've been to two major league games. WH took me to a Jays-Orioles game in Toronto when we were dating. Surprisingly, the Orioles lay a drubbing on Roy Halladay. And then last summer, WH and I went to a Cubs-Giants game in San Francisco. It was awesome to see such a classic rivalry and in the end, the Giants came from behind to win, but it was so cold sitting out there by the bay that we only made it about 4 innings before we headed back to the hotel and watched the rest on TV.

3. I've been to a bunch of minor league games here in Prairie City and I've loved every single one of them. The most memorable was a game for which Kevin Brown pitched in an injury rehab start for the opposing team. He got paid $900,000 to play that game, more than probably the entire lineup of Prairie City team combined.

4. John Olerud was my favourite player from the Blue Jays World Series winning teams. He just seemed like such a nice, quiet man, and WOW could he hit the baseball.

5. I hate the New York Yankees.

6. I like keeping score. I enjoy it so much that I'll keep score for games I'm watching on TV .

7. I played intramural softball for about five years and I umped for a couple of summers. Umpires have a very, very difficult job.

8. I know that it's a topic of great controversy, but I don't really mind the designated hitter. I mean, all sports have specialized players, and I would frankly rather watch a DH hit the ball well, than watch a pitcher whiff away just because he has to take an at-bat.

9. Chewing tobacco is a disgusting habit.

10. Baseball is the only professional sport I know where the coach wears the same uniform as the players. That is one of the most ridiculous pieces of baseball trivia out there. I mean, who cares?

11. They have these garlic fries at AT&T park in San Francisco that are unbelievable. SO GOOD. They are a kind of signature food for the park and rightly so. If you ever go that way, you must try them. You must!

12. I think that my favourite play in baseball is a watching an outfielder try to throw out a runner at home because to do it successfully, so many different things have to go absolutely right. When it all works, it's like poetry in motion.

13. One of the things you lose watching a game on TV is a sense of how everybody on the field works together on every single play. There's a great moment just before the pitch is thrown when everything seems still, and then as soon as the pitcher releases the ball, everybody starts moving. Given how many players are involved, it's a wonder how rarely they get in each other's way.

14. I've always thought it would be a great trip to drive across the US, hitting as many ball parks as you could along the way.

15. If you want to get on my nerves, say this: "You watch baseball? But it's so boring." But be prepared that I will then pester you mercilessly with all the reasons why you're wrong.

16. This is a great book.

17. I'm fascinated by catchers. I think that former catchers make excellent managers because catchers have to know everything that is going on on the field at any given time. Catchers have a good sense of the strategy of the game, how all the pieces - offensive and defensive - fit together. I think that the importance of the catcher is karma giving a little boost to all of the kids who were told to play catcher on their school teams because they were perceived to be the least able.

18. I really like A League of their Own.

19. The singing of God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch was a very moving and emotional tribute after 9/11. But it's time to put it to rest now. The seventh inning stretch should be about Take me out to the ballgame, sung loudly and off-key, preferably by Harry Caray. Sigh...

20. I've eaten peanuts at a ball game, but never crackerjacks.

21. Is there anything more beautiful than a 6-4-3 double play with one out and the bases loaded? I thought not. Well, maybe a strike out with two out and the bases loaded.

22. It took me a strangely long time to figure out that the spring training cactus league was in Arizona and the grapefruit league was in Florida. Duh.

23. I missed Joe Carter's famous home run to win the 1993 World Series. A friend's mom told me about it: "Oh, by the way, they won. Somebodyorother hit a home run and they won."

24. Setting aside PED's for the moment, I remember being totally entranced by the McGuire/Sosa home run chase. I went out and bought a St. Louis Cardinals jersey because I was rooting for McGuire to come out on top. Knowing what we know now, the chase takes on a kind of sad backstory, but at the time, I still maintain that what we were watching was incredible.

25. I think that Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame. I know, I know, he bet on baseball and lied about it and was, frankly, a bastard. And I certainly understand why the consequences for those actions were so harsh. So I say, put the whole story in the Hall of Fame. The skill, the talent, the statistics, the accomplishments, the downfall. Tell it like it is.


  1. Love the list. I could not agree more with #5 and #19, especially. And I also like "A League of Their Own" (and semi-frequently use the handy phrase, "there's no crying in baseball!") but maintain that "The Natural" is still the best baseball movie ever. Thanks for the fun post!

  2. On the topic of baseball movies, I love the quote from "Bull Durham": "Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains."

  3. #4 -- I loved watching Olerud when he was with Seattle. And I loved that he wore a helmet playing 1st.

    #15 is also a pet peeve of mine.

    #19 and 21, right on.

    My solution to #25: put up a plaque of him saying that he has the record for most hits, blah blah. But no ceremony, no nothing, don't even invite him. Just put it up, there, you're in, now please be quiet.

  4. but but but! with the DH rule in force everywhere, we would never have seen Joe Blanton "shut his eyes and swing hard"...wasn't that worth it?

  5. Ditto on #5 ... and not just because we are Red Sox fans.

    #17 Me too (of course I'm married to a former catcher, present day coach) Besides, we all know that the best players are up the middle - catcher, pitcher, shortstop and center-fielder.

    And the number one reason Baseball is better than Football.....No cheerleaders

  6. LOVE #25..
    and the last two years we planned our vacations around ballgames--we saw RedSox play the Phillies last June; and enjoyed watching them play Cleveland the year before.
    We also love going to Sox games here in Boston, when we can get tix.

    I admire your deep knowledge of the game!