Who cares about baseball?
As I write this column, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox are preparing to meet in the first game of the World Series. By Thursday of this week, I was praying for the Yankees to beat the Sox, but a year ago I wouldn't have given a rip either way.
This is the story of a girl turned baseball fan.
I knew when I started dating Nicholas -- now my fiance -- that I would be a baseball widow for a good part of the year because of his love for the Yankees. I accepted that all activities would be preempted if a Yankees game were on television, and I was resigned to using that time to yawn or look at magazines until the game ended and Nick realized again that I was in the same room.
When our relationship became a long distance one and baseball season came back around, Nick started asking me to watch games while we talked on the phone so it would be like we were watching them "together." I admit, I faked it most of the time and responded "oh, cool" whenever he commented on a play.
When the Yankees and the Red Sox began their league series for a spot in the World Series this year, my attitude was pretty much the same. I paid no attention to Game 1 until Nick said, "You really should watch this -- the Yankees' pitcher has pitched six perfect innings." I said, "What does that mean? The Red Sox have had no hits?"
Something clicked and suddenly I cared what was going on in the game. By Game 2, I said I would flip channels and just check in for the score later. Nick said he wanted to watch the whole thing beccause that was the fun part.
I didn't watch Game 3 at all, but when I found out the next morning that the Yankees had so dominated the Sox in that game, I felt new feeling inside. It was fandom.
I found with Game 4 that nothing on television interested me as much as the game. By Game 5, as the Sox and the Yankees clicked through five extra innings, I was up late with them, unable to turn away because I might miss the hit that ended the game.
What was I becoming? I wondered if I started to enjoy this sport, how would I spend the rest of my life making jokes about how my husband forces me to watch baseball? The next time we're in New York City, will I ask Nick to take me to a Yankees game rather than visiting a museum or shopping for fabric? Will I start wearing a baseball cap with the team logo on it? Who am I?
My new interest has bled over to the workplace, too. For the past week, I find myself having baseball conversations with our sports editor, Bruce Hixon. In case you've never seen his ever-present team baseball cap, he's a serious Cardinals fan. I suppose the next best thing to seeing the Yankees in the World Series is having a happy sports editor in the newsroom.