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  • Why Baseball? Why The Twins?

    As most of you know, I have now been blogging about the Minnesota Twins for past 11 years (in May). Until we started TwinsDaily.com just over two years ago, I was at SethSpeaks.net. Tonight, I was looking through the Archives of SethSpeaks.net and back in late 2005, I had a series I called Why Baseball? Several readers of the site submitted essays on what it is about baseball that captures them. In fact, I know that a couple of Twins Daily readers sent in their submissions.

    As I read some of the articles and the forums here at Twins Daily and see so much negativity, I thought it was time to go back and ask Twins Daily readers to submit their thoughts on what it is about baseball that draws you in. Did you play baseball? To what level? Is it the stats? The history?

    The follow-up question on this Twins-related site is what is it that keeps you being a Twins fan despite the struggles? What are your early memories?

    Like I said, I tire of the same old discussions about the same negative topics day after day. And yes, Iím not naÔve. I understand that things havenít been good and one of the beauties of watching baseball is that it looks so easy. Most everyone has played Little League baseball, and many get the opportunity to play in high school. So, itís easy to second-guess every move on the field and in the front office. Itís fun to play Monday Morning Quarterback 162 games each season.

    So, what was it for me? My dad played amateur baseball when I was very young. We have pictures of myself wearing a diaper and a glove at my dadís games. (No, I will not post them here.) But, my dad Ė and my mom Ė played catch in the front yard almost every day from the day the snow was (almost) gone until the snow started again. We watched baseball games on TBS (hence my Claudell Washington fandom). We saw Cubs games on WGN. I loved when they had double-headers.

    I played games that I wonder if I would let my kid play. At the house, there were four steps in front of the front door. I would take a baseball, from 30 feet away, and throw the ball toward the steps. Usually it would hit the cement steps and bounce back to me as a ground ball. If I hit the cement at a corner, it would come back to me as a line drive or even a pop up. Often, I hit the front door. There were so many dents in that door.

    I played a game against myself. I would pretend to be the Atlanta Braves. I knew the lineup. Brett Butler. Bruce Benedict. Dale Murphy. Biff Pocaroba. Basically, I would throw popups to myself, as high as I could. For most players, I would catch the popup and it would be an out. Of course, when Claudell Washington ďcame to bat,Ē popups were often dropped, or I would try to make the catch behind my back.

    My brother and I played catch in the back yard. One would be the pitcher, and the other would be the catcher. The catcher would stand up, and if the pitch was caught within an inch or so of our body, from the knees to the letters, it was a strike. We would play six or seven inning games, throwing fastballs, changeups, and curve balls, taking turns pitching and catching.

    I remember when Kirby Puckett got called up. I was eight years old, and truth be told I canít imagine I liked him for any reason other than his cool name. I remember waking up the next year and my mom excitedly telling me that Puckett had hit his first major league home run.

    I was in 7th grade during the 1987 playoffs. For Game 7, I watched the game all by myself in the basement on a snowy, black-and-white TV, because I couldnít handle the pressure of watching with anyone else. In 1991, I was a junior and it was just as exciting. I remember ďAnd weíll see you tomorrow night.Ē

    I went to college and played a couple of years of baseball. For the first time in my life, I was on the bench. That was hard, but it allowed me to watch the game from an entirely different perspective. I learned a new way to keep the scorebook. I learned to look at each situation and scenario in a game from a different angle. I could see it from a player perspective, but gained a respect and understanding for the work that coaches and a managers do.

    But, for a while, I stepped back from the game. But once college was done, and I had an 8-5 job and didnít have college homework anymore, I dove back into baseball and the Twins headfirst and havenít looked back.

    Through writing at SethSpeaks.net and now at Twins Daily, itís been an incredible perspective. To get the feedback, positive and negative, from readers is what itís all about for me. Trust me when I say I learn more from the readers and commenters than I can give to them. It has also provided me with the opportunity to meet so many players, coaches, front office types that I normally wouldnít have.

    I enjoy following the Twins organization for so many reasons and getting to know so many of the people gives me a better perspective yet. To watch a player go from being drafted, through the levels of the minor leagues and reach that dream is really quite something. When I hear or read people say something like ďPlayer is is a terrible baseball player,Ē I shake my head. Even the guys that get a cup of coffee in the big leagues are amazing baseball players.

    As Iíve written in past Prospect Handbooks, I was your typical high school player who hit .420 for four years and played shortstop and pitched. Blah, Blah, Blah. I went to a Division III school and couldnít hack it. Those players are very good. So, how good are the guys who get to play on Division I teams. Now consider that most Division I players donít get drafted. How good are the players in Low A, or High A? You have to be remarkable, elite, to just get to AA.

    The respect I have for all of the guys I write about is immense, and I love to tell their stories. Sure, itís fun to see a guy like Byron Buxton who has a chance to debut in 2014 as a 20 year old after being a top first round pick and getting a huge signing bonus. However, what makes me want to do this from day to day are the stories like Tommy Watkins', who spent 10 or 11 years in the minor leagues before getting his cup of coffee. I enjoy telling the stories of Eric Fryer and James Beresford as much as I enjoy writing about Kohl Stewart. Getting to know a guy like Chris Colabello and the perspective he has on the game of baseball is really something that makes you want to see him succeed. Talk to Andrew Albers about the opportunity that the Twins gave him and learn what it is to love the game of baseball and have a strong passion for the game.

    So there you have itÖ a small piece of what I love about baseball, the Minnesota Twins and now writing about the organization.

    Before I turn it over to you, I asked three guys what it is about baseball and a career playing the game.

    First, I talked to Trevor Plouffe. He is one of the more charismatic personalities that Iíve had the opportunity to meet. His response may surprise you some.

    Next, I talked to Jermaine Mitchell who had a strong showing in big league camp. Of course, earlier this week, the Twins released him and he will get another opportunity elsewhere.

    Finally, I had a chance to ask Tommy Watkins about what it is about baseball for him. He is one of the best ambassadors of the Minnesota Twins and especially the Cedar Rapids Kernels.

    Yes, the Twins have had some rough seasons of late, but youíre all still coming to Twins Daily. Yet youíre still here, frequenting this Twins-related site, and we appreciate that.

    But now itís your turn. Iíd love to hear and ready YOUR stories. So, what is it about baseball? What is it about the Minnesota Twins?
    Comments 40 Comments
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      For me it's probably the sense of "belonging" to something much greater than myself.
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      I've loved the game and the Twins since I was little. I grew up watching Hrbek and Puckett play the game. I watched or listened to many games with my father and grandfather. If it was a day game we'd listen while doing chores in the barn, night games were frequently watched on TV if the farm work permitted, and listened to if it didn't.

      Today I listen in my office to day games, watch a couple night games per week. I still love to have the game on the radio while I'm puttering around in the garage on the weekend (usually brewing beer, yeah I love beer and am from Wisconsin, sue me if I fall into a stereotype) and I hope my daughter loves the Twins the same way I do when she's old enough to understand what's going on.

      Some of my love is from tradition. Some of it nostalgia. I love a lazy summer day at the ballpark, having a couple bears and watching the game.

      Most of what I love about Twins baseball is anticipatory. I love that feeling of waiting expectantly for the next pitch, because any pitch can become a game changer, but most are not. I love the intensity of a playoff push. I love the offseason and all of the anticipation for the future with the chess maneuvers and roster changes.

      That's why these last couple off seasons have been so trying on my soul. The immediate future has been bleak, and the future out a season or two, is becoming two or three.

      But I am heartened by this off season. The Twins front office has been active, and with some of the activity today, I am hopeful for an impactful trade. Because isn't that what this is all about? Waiting for the next move is the best part.
    1. jmil-10's Avatar
      jmil-10 -
      Growing up, baseball was always the sport that captured my attention the most, despite playing other sports. The Twins have always been it to me. I remember my old man telling me the story of how him and his buddies drove down and scapled tickets to see Game 6 in 1991, and how much they regretted not buying the Game 7 tickets when they had the chance. My personal career only lasted through high school, but some of my best memories came from playing legion ball. Growing up, I was a first baseman, so naturally being that this was the early 2000's, Doug Mientkiewicz was my favorite player. And he still is. How many baseball fans would say that? Anyways, being a fan of this club has always came easy despite the down years they've experienced. We have a farm system that is one of the best in baseball. We have the best prospect. We have a front office that seems to genuinely care about this team, the state, the fans, and the communities in it. It's only a matter of time before they get this right and the "fair-weather" fans come back. But you have to suffer through the bad times to appreciate the good times, and man will that be sweet.

      Great article, thanks.
    1. Fire Dan Gladden's Avatar
      Fire Dan Gladden -
      Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
      Otwins: Star Lake, between Pelican Rapids and Perham? My family has been going there for years too (in my lifetime, mainly to the Galaxy Resort).
      Don't know if you will want to vacation up here this year. Not sure if the ice will ever leave any of the lakes...
    1. TMitchell's Avatar
      TMitchell -
      Wow, Seth. You really know how to do this. I look at the number and length of the many posts and I am amazed. You have struck a chord with your readers (again). This is an overwhelming amount of heart-felt posts which are an absolute pleasure to read. I was one of the guys who posted the first time you posed, "Why Baseball" and I still feel and relish what I wrote then. I've revised it a few times over the years and thought of reposting. I decided not to because there is so much new and wonderful reading here already. Thanks for bringing out the joy of this again, and so often. You can retire after I die.
    1. Beezer's Avatar
      Beezer -
      I have always been connected to the Twins from back in the day when my Great Aunt and Great Uncle had a $1 bet on every game and she always took the Twins and Killebrew. Even when I moved away from MN I still followed the Twins. But I really became a fan because of my son. Cuddyer had tried to play 3rd base with only marginal success and was on the Twins Caravan that winter. The Caravan stopped at the Rotary club and Dan Gladden at the end said anybody who knew how many HR's Cuddyer hit that year would get an autographed baseball and I knew it was 12 so I got the ball and brought it home to my 8 year old son. He TREASURED that baseball. We HAD to watch the Twins every time they played. That summer he had to have the same number as Michael Cuddyer. He had to play right field because that was where Michael Cuddyer was playing that year. I finally had to sit him down and have a talk with him because his coach wanted him playing 2nd base and he was arguing that he wanted to play right field just like Michael. I was so glad that Cuddyer turned into such a good player and such a positive playing baseball role model. My son and I to this day are still connected to the Twins and it has more to do with the autographed Michael Cuddyer baseball than it does with the time he spent playing baseball. He doesn't play baseball anymore because his talents took him a different direction but we still watch and talk Twins baseball and I am far bigger fan now than I ever was before "The Autograph".
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Fire Dan Gladden View Post
      Don't know if you will want to vacation up here this year. Not sure if the ice will ever leave any of the lakes...

      To think that "Perham" is considered "way up north." That's where I'm from, and yet now, I live almost 4 hours north of there. Uggh... Snow, not fun.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by TMitchell View Post
      Wow, Seth. You really know how to do this. I look at the number and length of the many posts and I am amazed. You have struck a chord with your readers (again). This is an overwhelming amount of heart-felt posts which are an absolute pleasure to read. I was one of the guys who posted the first time you posed, "Why Baseball" and I still feel and relish what I wrote then. I've revised it a few times over the years and thought of reposting. I decided not to because there is so much new and wonderful reading here already. Thanks for bringing out the joy of this again, and so often. You can retire after I die.
      Thank you... one of the reasons I enjoy writing things like this is beyond just sentimental. Honestly, I always want these to bring out people and their opinions, but what I find shouldn't surprise me. Most of the responses on articles like this come from people who don't normally comment. It's from the fans that just want to read and enjoy the game... For the most part, those that took the time to share their comments on this article are not the ones who whine and complain about every little thing. It's good to read that there are still people who just enjoy the game without feeling the need to judge everything. We all have opinions, but I like reading the stories.

      I have had so many people e-mail me today to say thank you for this article. There are a lot of great baseball fans who choose not to comment because of the handful of squeaky wheels that make the comments/forum not as much fun. And for that, I thank those of you.

      And I've enjoyed the stories. Hopefully people will continue to add their stories.

      To add to mine, baseball cards were another huge part of my love of baseball. It's honestly how I learned math. It's how I learned names. It's how I learned numerical order, stats, reading, alphabetizing, etc.
    1. jm3319's Avatar
      jm3319 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Otwins View Post
      When I was little we use to vacation every year at Star lake way up north in Minnesota. We could listen to the Twins on an old scratchy radio. Harmon Killebrew was my favorite player. Tony Oliva, Bob Allison, Don Mincher, Jm Kaat, Mudcat Grant, Dean Chance, Zoilo Versailes.
      Got hooked then and can't seem to shake 'em. You are correct that the worst major league player is an outstnding baseball player. Thanks for the article
      I think you meant central Minnesota, not way up north. Geography tells me Star Lake is central Minnesota, and Minneapolis is in the southern third of Minnesota. (I grew up on the Iron Range and take offense to anyone who says anything 30-90 minutes north of the Twin Cities is way up north!) :-)
    1. Blackjack's Avatar
      Blackjack -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      For the most part, those that took the time to share their comments on this article are not the ones who whine and complain about every little thing.
      As I was reading thru this post that EXACTLY what I was noting, very few of the normal suspects have posted. Interesting.

      Seth, thanks for the uplifting post, it was getting discouraging reading all the other posts about how bad the Twins are going to be this year even before the season started. I followed you over here from SethSpeaks and have learned so much about the minor league players, info that I never even thought about 10 years ago.

      I never played baseball, I'm just a fan, I like having the Twins on the radio when I'm barbecueing or mowing or in my shop or sitting around the campfire. I try to plan my activities according to the Twins schedule so I'll be within reach of a radio. I hate when they play on the West coast, the games just get too late.

      Go Twins!!
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      Quote Originally Posted by jm3319 View Post
      I think you meant central Minnesota, not way up north. Geography tells me Star Lake is central Minnesota, and Minneapolis is in the southern third of Minnesota. (I grew up on the Iron Range and take offense to anyone who says anything 30-90 minutes north of the Twin Cities is way up north!) :-)
      To be fair, on the DNR web site, I count 5 lakes named "Star Lake" in Minnesota. That's bound to happen, with 10,000+ and some uncreative namers...
    1. Devereaux's Avatar
      Devereaux -
      1. Itís beautiful. Eric Davis just throwing out Carney Lansford at third. Kirby Puckett leaping higher than he should be able to leap. Short stops making backhanded stops. Home runs hitting the tops of flagpoles.
      2. History. Baseball goes back to the Civil War and hasnít changed much since the end of the 19th Century. I can read Ring Lardner stories from 100 years ago and know just what heís talking about. Itís Americaís First Game.
      3. You donít need to be a physical freak. You just need quick strong wrists. You donít need to be taller than 6í5Ē or weigh over 350 pounds.
      4. No clock. No tenth-of-seconds. No hundredths-of-seconds.
      5. No penalties. No free throws, no power plays.
      6. You can never stop learning. Whether itís advanced stats, or just something you didnít care about when you were younger. Thereís always something you donít know. Thereís always something to take note of.
      7. It takes place in the summer.
      8. Itís played outside, on grass.
      9. No bone-on-bone. We donít have to watch our most physically talented young people intentionally ruin their futures, like in contact sports.
      10. The ebb and flow. Whoever said itís like real life, slowness interspersed with bursts of action.
      11. Baseball is for lovers. Thereís not the martial spirit in fans as you see in football and other sports.
      12. The dimensions. 90 feet to first base is perfection. Should be enough time to make a throw to first. Unless the defender double clutches and the runner is hustling.
      13. No padding or body armor. Baseball caps instead of helmets hiding faces.
      14. No tie games.
      15. Itís a family game. The tickets are more affordable than in other sports and you tend to see more older and very young people.
      16. Itís every day. Thereís always another game to look forward to.
      17. Itís a literate game. So many good stories, from Dan Gladden on the radio to Patrick Reusse in the newspaper, to fans on the Internet.
    1. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
      Hosken Bombo Disco -
      Grew up in suburbs. Many trips to Met Stadium and metrodome and other ball fields. Baseball ran in the family. Learned to keep score from my grandfather. When going to a friend's house for the first time I always sized up his backyard for whiffle ball potential. I bounced a tennis ball off my back steps just like many of you did (but stood closer than 30 feet, which allowed for long fly balls over the outfielder's head.. Loved reading box scores in the paper. Found friends to play catch. Had a grade school teacher who genuinely didn't understand why the boys were better on multiplying the 7 on the multiplication tables than girls (hint: football). I played ball for as long as I could, until I couldn't anymore.

      It is so true: every player that is discussed on Twins Daily is the best of the best and in almost all cases, they deserve to be talked about in the best possible light. Which they often don't get. The discussion threads often get divisive and unreasonably critical but I think that gives the site credibility; I think the moderation works; and I think the positive voices at Twins Daily are the soul of the site and the moral compass. The site would fall apart without them. I wish I had been here from the start of Twins Daily but am thinking this might still be the beginning.
    1. Sarah's Avatar
      Sarah -
      Why the Twins? My parents tell me the story of sitting on the floor when I was 4-5 years old sorting out my baseball cards and listening to Herb Carneal and Joe Angell and the Twins games during the summer.
      I have almost the exact same story- my mom says I used to go into the TV room and turn on the Twins game when I was a little girl. She says one time when I was about six my dad came in and said, "Sarah, how can you watch this? They are so bad." I don't remember this but according to my mom I replied, "Oh, I don't care if they win- I just like to watch them play."

      And some of you who have mentioned the lack of a clock in baseball might enjoy this quote from Earl Weaver:

      "You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the goddamn plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all."
    1. BigTrane's Avatar
      BigTrane -
      Thanks for starting this thread, Seth- this is truly community work!
      Also: there are some truly great stories and even poetry on this thread. These experiences are the non-analytic "stuff" that makes baseball the greatest sport ever.

      There's more than enough negativity right now, and much of it for good reason. However, one of the great things that makes baseball such a beautiful game is the fact that while we can project (and baseball must be the stat-friendliest sport) we will never be able to predict. Case in point: the 2012 and 2013 Bosox. Hope is never unreasonable, even if unlikely.

      My own story: my maternal uncle was the Little League coach in small town South Carolina, and bought me my first bat, glove, and ball. Every summer when we went to visit them, he'd just add me in to his team. I'm 45, so this was the early 70's, and he was the local tobacco-spitting champion (43 feet, if I recall). Anyway, the chaw, the pinetar (this was all wood bats & tons of tar-style Little League) the smell of the dirt, the grass, and the pines will never leave me. Through him, I discovered that being a lefty is a blessing. Where else would you get that?

      He is a diehard Braves fan, and so I remember watching Hammerin' Hank do his thing, watching with him. We also marveled at The Big Red Machine and the We Are Family Pirates- my first Bert experience- though Kent Tekulve's delivery made a bigger impression at the time.

      Later, my family moved to Europe and did primary school in Brussels, Belgium. I played Little League there, and that was an anchor to me. When we went back to the US for summer vacation, I always had ball to talk with my uncle. Stranger in a strange land, but I was good.

      A few years later, we moved back to MN, and that was the Butch Wynegar/Roy Smalley period. I think I had a Ron Cey bat at the time. The Twins were not good, but that wasn't the point. Your team is where your heart and home is, and even with all the moving, Minnesota was my home. Case closed.

      In '87, I was in my freshman year at college, and from where I was in the Wedge on 24th St., I could hear the cheering from downtown. In '91, my team was pitted against my uncle's team. What a dream come true!

      Now I am teaching in China, but still avidly following the Twins every day. I'm truly concerned about the state of the club. However, baseball is The Great Leveler- another beauty of the game. Just look at the injuries in Spring Training. If Verlander goes down and Cabrera has some sort of lingering injury, then the AL Central is wide open. Sometimes, that's all it takes.

      Anyway, I am teaching US Culture this semester, and I've made baseball the centerpiece. I don't think you can grasp America if you can't grasp baseball. I've set up a simplified fantasy league, am holding clinics, am teaching all the baseball idioms that make American English what it is, and next week will have an opening day party. At the end of the semester, we'll have a scrimmage, followed by a tailgate party. Gotta do it right.

      Many other posters have made great points about the uniqueness and beauty of the game- that's all in the lesson. Certain memories stick in my mind though. Moving from Chicago to LA after graduation, and listening to games all through the night, even in New Mexico... 2001 working in Ventura and having the choice of listening to Scully or Jon Miller. Watching the D-Backs beat the Yanquis post 9/11...

      In the end, I guess it's all about tradition, culture, family. I love the history (I'm a historian) and stats, but there's so much more. Listening to a game while driving cross-country through the night is sublime... where else do we get extended story-telling in our culture? What is more quintessentially American than listening to a ball game while you are On The Road?
    1. Jerr's Avatar
      Jerr -
      Great article and thread!

      I was 8 when the Twins first arrived and baseball was the sport in that world of mine. Never played any organized ball. Just neighborhood pick up games as little league wasn't in my Minneapolis neighborhood.

      We played baserunner on the sidewalk with the lines being the bases and one would try to get as many bases without making an out from the 2 catchers. Record was 36 held by me.

      Also threw a ball against the cement steps for hours, used a tennis ball as the flies off the cracks or line drives were coming back fast. Had a large barn like garage with a huge roof where we threw the ball to catch high fly balls.

      Plus hours of pitcher and catcher with all the dreaded Yankees coming to the plate. Catcher would call strikes and balls and throw hits to field.

      And baseball cards, that I gave away after I grew up. I can cry as I had cards from the 1950's! It really hurt to take my son to Twinsfest and see those cards for hundreds of dollars a piece!

      So many memories and baseball endures for so many of the reasons in this thread. The mind games, no time, any thing can happen, along with all the great stories and memories from games gone by.

      Up north on Kimble Lake each Summer, with just Herb Carneal calling a game as we fished and swam. Only interruption would be to find a station playing the Beatles new release.

      Thanks all for bringing back so much and firing me up for that next pitch!!!
    1. sampleSizeOfOne's Avatar
      sampleSizeOfOne -
      (Short version, as I don't know if/when I'll get to long version, and I want to get this in before the game starts)

      Why baseball?

      Nothing is better to pass the time than playing catch. And running down fly balls at the edge of one's range is worth it.

      I played in high school. I got the nickname "Skud" ("back in the early 90's, just about the time of our conflict with Saddam and the Iraqis" as the movie says) because, both at bat and in the field, when I threw/hit the ball, you didn't really know where it was going, just that it would hit hard. It was a load of fun, to say the least.

      Why the Minnesota Twins?

      I lived in Rochester, MN during '87. We moved during the summer of '89, but retaining sports loyalties have since become a point of pride, if nothing else.

      Why TwinsDaily? (I know it isn't part of the original question)

      At least for me, amongst all the discussion, opinions, reporting, I think I see something of the atmosphere I grew up in back in the 80s. Anyway, I do enjoy following what's here.

      For what it's worth. (While this thread has fallen off the top listings, and I haven't taken the time to read everything before me, I will come back to it. This is one of those threads that isn't really time sensitive. And maybe I'll give a more in depth response.)
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      Why Baseball?


      There are reasons why some people are paid to write. I wish I had Mike Barnicle's turn of phrase.
    1. mattjc1983's Avatar
      mattjc1983 -
      First post so I'll keep it (reasonably) short. The easiest answer to why I cheer for the Twins (coming up on 31) is that my Dad is a western Minnesota native and he and my mom met at University of Northwestern - St. Paul. I was born to cheer this team on.

      Why baseball? Because no other sport can compare:

      1) Mike Trout being an obvious exception, for the most part you can't come into the majors and dominate from the get-go. While 18-20 yo kids have regularly come into the NBA in the last 15 years and instantly become the best player in the league or close to it (what's that tell you about the quality of that sport), the typical ROY in baseball has what, a .270/20/70 line?

      2) It's a thinking man's game. Watching the NCAA tournament games just reminds me that about 95% of basketball is genetics. Baylor had 3 guys over 6'8" this season. The strategy was pass the ball down low, and let that guy throw his weight or height around until he got close enough to lay it in. That's not skill, that's genetics. With some exceptions, football is the same. It's about size and speed. Meanwhile, baseball has had all kinds of stars in all shapes and sizes. Whether at the plate, on the mound, or in the field, it's about knowing your opponent's tendencies, the situation at hand, and being prepared.

      Best game in the world!
    1. Jdosen's Avatar
      Jdosen -
      Why baseball? I wish could better articulate my feelings about the most beautiful game I've ever known. I'll try anyways, but I won't do it justice.

      It's my dad's favorite sport. I never once had to beg him to toss the ball around in the summertime. I really fell in love when I was a kid, maybe 8 or 9 years old. The summers were the best. Beginning of May was when the Big Ten tournament was always on TV and when Little League started in my town. I would watch the Gophers play whoever during the day and then go out to the garage and throw myself grounders off the door for hours. I fashioned myself a shortstop and I wanted to play for the Gophers. I had some pretty high goals!

      The most fun I ever had in baseball was my 14-16 year old summers playing VFW baseball in Hibbing. We had practice every morning at 10 unless we had games. The carpools were so much fun, as well as our relative success. The coaches I played for on that team were really fun, but great motivators at the same time. My first year, the last game I hit 9th and ended up hitting about .220 on the year. That's when I decided I actually wanted to get *good* at hitting, so I quit my winter sport and got a makeshift cage with a Mauer Quickswing in my garage. The next year I was hitting in the middle of the order for the varsity. I put in a lot of hours, but I loved it. I'm happy I did, because baseball is a lot more fun when you're not an automatic out!

      My high school career was ok, but I wasn't good enough to play at the only D3 school that I wanted to go to: St. Thomas, so I ended up getting cut as a freshman. Now I'm playing town ball every summer and I don't plan on stopping any time soon (I'm only 21). Also, this past summer, I got the privilege to coach with the guys who coached me in VFW ball, which was an honor and a thrill.

      Why the Twins? They're the home team, and they've been on every night in our living room as long as I can remember. I grew up on the Hunter/Jones/Mientkiewicz/Guzman Twins that revitalized baseball in the state. Those were fun teams and now that I'm living in the area, I can't wait until we are back to winning teams. Hopefully sooner than later.

      That's basically my baseball story to date. I hope I didn't toot my horn too badly
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