I fully admit I haven’t watched baseball in years. I used to be a huge fan, back in the late 80’s and early 90’s I was a fanatic. I watched every game, knew an obscene number of stats and followed every breath the Toronto Blue Jays took.
When they won that first World Series I was riding as high as every other baseball fan in Southern Ontario. When they won the second one I didn’t think it could get better than that. I knew that sooner or later our ride would come to an end but that was okay because the Jays were still the best baseball team in the Universe.
And then IT happened.
I remember feeling betrayed by the MLB and the players. The game I loved, but couldn’t play to save my life, had been taken away because of greed. Those days I was working as a waitress (making less than minimum wage) while going to school. Money was incredibly tight and having the game on in the radio was my only entertainment at times. All of it was over a bunch of spoiled over paid babies who cupped their balls and stayed home.
So, I stopped watching it.
That was twenty one years ago and other than the odd game here and there I haven’t really paid any attention to the game. Not that the Jay’s have been anything to talk about in the last couple decades. Over the last couple years I haven’t actively watched but it’s not unusual for a game to be on because my husband is a fan. But there is only so many “Honey, you have to watch this catch/hit/call/steal!” before I found myself being seduced by the game again.
Then the cope-de-grace, he convinced me to go to a game the other day. Ticket prices had changed enough to make me blink, but they don’t come close to the obscenity of hockey tickets so I wasn’t too put off. We arrived early enough to wander around the Dome and nosh on some street meat.
I forgot how much fun watching the game could be. Sitting in an open dome on a warm day watching them play, a semi-cold beer in hand. (I’m so tempted to rant about the lack of craft beer at the Sky Dome that forced me to consume mediocre, mass-market, domestic swill.)
There is energy to a live game that you don’t get from the TV. Starting with singing along to our National Anthem and the subsequent cheers and boos as the game played out. It’s incredible how high those pop-ups really go and the power behind the player’s throws never really translates well over a small screen. Seeing Pillar make an incredible catch and then wincing as he landed on his shoulder. (Man, that looked painful.) It was the fastest 2hrs and 39minutes and I admit I was disappointed when it was all over.
I don’t think I’ll be the superfan I was before. But as I type this, the Jay’s are playing their first game against the Yankees. It’s 1-1 at top of the 6th with 1 out and I’m feeling like I just put on an old cozy sweater I’d lost.