Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Days Of Summers Past....

I'll be the first one to admit that I'm pretty much a *fair weather fan* of baseball these days, in more ways than one. There was a time when we attended all of our kids games AND we had box seats at the local Double A (Minor League) games. Our private seats were practically in the team's dugout and were even with the third base line. I spent many spring and summer nights fascinated with the games and I was miserable when they played out of town, so I listened to the out-of-town games on the radio, at home. How crazy is that? I once sang the anthem for the opening of a game and got a standing ovation too. I can't believe I didn't cry. It merely fueled the fire of my passion for the game. Besides, it's the only game I truly know all the rules to. So. Not. Funny.


I attended all of those games religiously in rain, sleet, extreme heat, and even double headers. I loved those evenings, watching our guys proceed from the minors to the majors... or not. After watching Little League-rs running around like butterflies and moths in fall, I needed relief. Our team was a feeder to the California Angels back in those days. Good times. We used to know all of our players by name (and statistics) and would yell at encourage them all through the game. I mostly yelled at the umpire and the entire team knew I was their champion. And, I was. Really. Those young guys were always really kind to my children as well, which made me even fonder of them. Of course, you never knew who was coming back the next season until opening day, but that just made it more exciting.




Besides, I had a much younger friend who was dating one (or two) of the players at one time or another. They were probably just being nice to us so they could get to know her, but I always understood why. She was quite something....


Mr. Snoots never cared much for the games or for baseball in general, so I always took the kids with me to the games unless the weather was too nasty. Then, I would get the kids fed and ready for slumber, then I'd go it alone, armed with a rain poncho, umbrella, gloves, etc. I really miss those days. Hot dogs, beer, 7th inning stretch & singing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame". I had friends who would occasionally come join me at the games, but no one ever braved the weather like I did. Hey, I used to be a skier. I'm accustomed to inclement weather.


People that know me were always shocked to see me at the games, yelling as if I were some sailor someone's base coach. Yes, I was that into it. During those years the stadium was called Max Christensen Stadium, after the man who originally brought the minor leagues to our town. We also shared our box seats with Max himself, which was truly an honor. He had the right half of the box and we had the left side. They were basically the best seats in the house. Max was full of baseball wisdom and used to crack up over my fervor for the game but he knew I was a willing sponge for his wisdom and rhetoric.



One reason I adored Max was that he always told our daughter (SD) that she could be the first woman to play in major league baseball. She played Little League at the time and suffered the wrath of the Dads that thought she brought the team statistics down. She wasn't any *daisy picker*. SD had an arm as good as any of the boys and she could throw someone out at home plate, from the midfield. There were more boy daisy pickers than anything else, but they still needled her whether they liked the fact or not. Luckily, SD always let it roll right off her back like water, much the same way she does about anything that annoys her these days.


Sadly, Max was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and was gone from us within the year.  Once our kids lost their fascination for baseball, we gave up the box seats, moving on to the sport-of-the-moment (mainly soccer and basketball). Still, I've always missed baseball and Max, since those days.


So, it only stands to reason that I should fall head-over-heels for the San Francisco Giants pitcher, Tim Lincecum. I like going with a winner, and who doesn't? However, when I watched Tim Lincecum pitch in the last game of the 2010 World Series, I was smitten from the get-go. I mean, how could you not like a pitcher who approaches the pitchers mound to the song "Come On Baby Light My Fire" by Jim Morrison and The Doors? Hello.


Anyway, it looks as if the Giants won't be making it to the playoffs this year, much less the World Series. But, it's always exciting to watch the playoffs and the World Series, no matter who is playing...


My favorite baseball movies are:


A League Of Their Own


For Love Of The Game



The Natural


Bull Durham


Field Of Dreams

Bad News Bears

Mr. Baseball


The Sandlot


Fever Pitch




If you've never seen these movies, then get yourself to the closest rental place and rent one. They are all awesome and inspiring....

3 comments:

Rob said...

I adore "A League of Their Own" (especially the "The hard is what makes it great." scene) and "The Natural" is one of my all-time faves, but I also love Major League and Rookie of the Year.

Sure, they're a little silly, but not stupidly so like many of today's movies. They have a goofy charm and great catchphrases that are a part of my everyday vernacular.

The Incredible Woody said...

While I cannot say that I am a true fan of any sport, I do love to hear the crack of a bat!

Tammy said...

Great post Snooty! It took my back to the days of going to watch my cousin play little league games, he ended up playing baseball in college, but I never got to see him play then. For many years, before kids, Scott and I had 20 game packages to the Mariners and I took many naps listening to baseball on the radio on warm sunny days.

Bull Durham is my favorite baseball movie. I used to watch it every year before the season started, but I haven't done that in a long time!

 

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