Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
LJ Idol week 13: inside baseball


Baseball was the first sport I ever cared about.  We lived in Milwuakee until I was in the first grade and my first fandom was the Brewers.  I remember asking to stay up late to watch the end of game 7 of the World Series in 1982, but it was already past my bedtime, so off I went.  It was just as well since the Brewers lost to Saint Louis that night, and they haven't really been close to playing for it all since then.  After that heartbreak, I became a casual fan of whatever team was associated with the city I was living in and mostly ignored baseball.  Last fall, however, so much baseball mania crept into the area where I live that it became impossible to ignore.  The entire Bay Area had caught a case of Giants fever.

I may not be a Giants fan but several of my friends are.  Jenny could even be considered a superfan, she has travelled to watch the team play and owns a lot of Giants swag.  We were both guests at a mutual friend’s wedding in mid-October, and she was nearly vibrating after the ceremony.  I soon found out why-- the first game of the NL championship series started as we were seated for dinner.  Several folks in the room were huddled around their smart phones, watching the game unfold while they ate the prime rib.  When the band started playing the lead singer announced the score periodically to those of us on the dance floor so we knew what the people glued to their three inch screens did.  Luckily the bride was enough of a sports fan to be amused.  Finally the Giants won and suddenly a dozen people were back with us fully, and having a great time.

I started paying attention to the game scores vaguely.  I knew they were playing a best of seven series but I didn’t really know the count of wins and losses.  Then on October 23 it was official – the Giants were playing in the World Series.  At that point things got crazy.  Even the time of year seemed to favor the Giants, when your team colors are orange and black the whole world is for you around Halloween.

I know what it’s like to be a fan of a team that regularly does well, but not quite well enough.  The energy and passion were infectious.  Suddenly everyone was a little nicer to each other.  It felt like the entire Bay Area wanted the same thing.

The World Series started with two home game wins for the Giants, and enthusiasm was at a fever pitch.  I could tell when the games ended by the sound of fireworks in my neighborhood, and at least once I heard screams from several apartments around me at the same time when a particularly great play happened.  There was a chance they could win it all on Halloween which seemed like an omen of good fortune for the orange and black.

I went to a Halloween party that Saturday, October 30 – game three.  The party started mid-afternoon, so we could watch the Giants game.  Again a few people stayed glued to their seats throughout, and others of us wandered a bit, mostly watching the game but also chatting and making an occasional drink.  It was the only game I watched more than an inning of all season long, and the Giants lost.  The energy in the room dipped for about 30 minutes and then came limping back up.  One loss in a best of seven doesn’t matter.  If they lost one more in Texas they could win it all at home.  Tomorrow would be the Giants’ day.  And the party went on.

The Giants did win on Halloween.  The series was 3-1 in favor of the Giants.  Monday night was game five, and I got home to tune in sometime during the eighth inning.  It felt like the whole region was holding its breath until the final strike.  Then – explosion!  The Giants won!

I wore orange and black the next day, and followed the news of the team coming home, and the parade through SF on cable cars.  It wasn’t my team, but somehow being right in the middle of it meant that it didn’t matter.  For a few weeks in late October I was a Giants fan. 

@@@This is my entry for week 13 of LJ Idol, the topic was "inside baseball" (which has a cool metaphorical meaning that I didn't use).  Other posts on this topic can be found here.  Thanks for reading.@@@

  • 1
I think baseball is contageous. It's basically what I wrote in my entry also. Nice entry.

I think any enthusiastic fandom can be contagious if you're introduced to it in a good way. Thanks!

Enthusiasm can be catching. I felt badly for that bride but
she was 'enough of a sports fan to be amused.' Good entry.

Yeah, it was a good thing Linda was okay with it.

When my brother and sister-in-law got married their college football team was playing and she put the word out that if she caught anyone checking the score during the ceremony she'd never speak to them again. After that was okay, but not while she was getting married. heh.

So you are one of those fans that flow with the winds?

Try being married to a die hard Chicago Cubs fan. The closest we've ever come since we have been together is the year Zimmer coached and we had Sandburg, Grace, Dunstan, & Dawson and made it to the playoffs.

In the NFL I'm a diehard Packer fan, and for college stuff I do cheer for WI. But in the other pro sports I'm mostly eh, I tend to cheer for whoever the majority of my friends are cheering for. (I joke that the reason folks from WI are such huge Packer fans is because our other options are the Brewers and the Bucks.)

I am astonished at Cubs fans, I really am. That is hardcore.

I think I was in the US when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004. Now that was impossible not to hear about ;)

Heh, I think all unaffiliated baseball fans became Red Sox fans by default that fall.

I think I'm very glad we got married on Labor Day and there was nothing sports wise going on that could have interfered. :)

I'm always a Cowboys fan, more so when they're on a winning streak. ;)

Heh, probably a good call. You have to embrace the sports or not.

I'm always a Packers fan, win or lose. Everything else is variable.

Sometimes you can't help but get carried away with the spirit :)

Exactly. Once the entire Bay Area was involved, I was sucked in too. I may even have to go see a few games this season.

Sports fever can strike anywhere, can't it? ;-}

It really can. I had avoided any significant involvement with baseball for years, but now I'm getting sucked back in.

(Deleted comment)
Very true. It was also a nice change of pace to have everyone so happy and positive everywhere I went. Certainly better than everyone being grumpy about something.

I love sports wave fever! You don't have to be a "fan" to enjoy it.

It's astonishing how quickly a sports team can overtake everything around us, and it's a lot of fun.

Yeah it was really awesome to have a Bay Area team win the series : ).

It really was. I may even have to go to a few Giants games this year.

I rarely watch football but it WAS kind of special when the college team from where my husband attended won the national championship this year.

Funny how easy it is to join in when "your team" are finally winners.

I feel...like WE don't deserve to celebrate though..in a way:P :)

I get that. If we didn't live through the pain then we shouldn't get all of the joy, or at least don't fully understand the joy of a team taking it all.

It's also interesting to see how each of us can relate to multiple teams depending on the angle of observation.

I totally get that you sometimes have to be loyal to the city you're living in. I'm a lifelong Red Sox fan and live in constant fear that fate will place me in New York City for a couple of years at some point. The horror. The horror.

Heh. It is possible to maintain your hometown alliances when somewhere else, but it's certainly easier when the teams don't particularly relate to each other. Being a Packer fan in the Bay Area isn't so tough, being one in Chicago would be a lesson in learning to hide.

It's always so easy to get caught up in playoff/championship fever, isn't it? I'm not a Giants fan but I was glad to see them win it this season. That's a tough team that gutted it out and deserved it not because they had an eye-popping payroll because they bought the best players out there but because they won as a *team* And I love seeing that. :-)

Sorry... I'd already voted but was in a time crunch and wanted to come back to comment. Great job. :-)

Yeah, I'd always rather cheer for the 'team' than a group supporting one or two 'stars', and am gratful that the Giants were that. With spring training starting the world up here is getting all orange and black again, already.

Thanks for taking the time to type. ;)

  • 1