I can’t remember exactly when I chose the Red Sox as my team(just sometime in elementary school), and I don’t remember at all why, but I know exactly when I fell in love with baseball.
I always liked the idea of it(I think I started claiming it as my favorite sport the first time I watched Daniel play t-ball, when I was three or four), but this is when it became my favorite thing.
It was October 2003 and it was the first time I’d ever watched the entire postseason. I was a kid and didn’t have my own TV, plus when you live in the south and don’t get cable you NEVER get a chance to watch baseball whether you want to or not. We didn’t have smartphones and apps that let you pull every game out of your pocket.
I’d been to minor league games before(because what’s now the Greenville Drive used to be the Capital City Bombers, and they used to be in the Mets’ farm system, not the Red Sox) and loved them. But this is when my dad really taught me how to watch the game, and I actually understood it and was so proud of myself. I still can’t understand any other sport; everything in baseball always makes sense.
And whatever reason I’d had for picking the Red Sox before, now I loved them because my dad insisted they couldn’t win and I believed they could. I was right…for a while. I threw a tantrum like a five year old when my mom made me go to bed before the end of ALCS game 7, and an even bigger one when she told me the next morning that the Red Sox lost. I chose the Cubs(I wasn’t allowed to like the Braves, because Dad said that Ted Turner didn’t like Christians. I didn’t want to like them either way because everyone in the south likes them)…and they lost their LCS too…but I couldn’t cheer for the Yankees in the World Series, so I grudgingly picked the Marlins, and watching the Yankees lose somewhat made up for not getting to see my team win.
And so I became addicted to October. Especially after the next October, when we won the most impossible series that had ever been won, the first win that Boston had seen in 86 years.
I like October better than Christmas. Me on the day after the World Series ends is like anyone else in America on December 26th.
When I came home from the World Race, all I had was Jesus and baseball. I was jet lagged and stayed up all night reading news and watching highlight videos and learning everything about every other team, and then I had PTSD and depression and threw all my feelings into games and it was one of the only things that made me feel alive. We ended the season in the basement of our division, but it didn’t matter; it was almost like a mirror of where I was at in life at the time.
It’s lonely being a baseball fan in the south. But I like what I like, and I can like it by myself…and I can also be happily surprised whenever I meet someone else like me.
October is TOMORROW! Cue the Green Day jokes…and the Christmas Eve level of excitement.