Article: A Game of Stories
Posted 31 March 2014 - 07:08 PM
Posted 31 March 2014 - 07:45 PM
What really strikes me, though, is what your parents were willing to do to help you and your friends create and play a new game. Nobody gets there alone.
Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:04 PM
Posted 31 March 2014 - 09:04 PM
My Daughter was born 2/25/14, we watched her first Twins game this afternoon. I hope her love for the game and the team follows the same path.
Being a March baby, I was born right before baseball season in upstate NY in 1962. My dad use to prop me up in the corner of the couch with lots of pillows so I couldn't fall over and we would watch Yankee games on Saturday afternoons. My love of baseball started at 6 weeks old.
AJ thanks for writing. I always love reading you posts.
Posted 31 March 2014 - 09:26 PM
First, why I love the game (and why I am first and foremost a Braves fan - to the chagrin of many around here). It all goes back to my great-grandma. She was bound and determined to get another baseball maniac in the family, and for some reason, I was her choice. We would sit and talk baseball whenever she was visiting from Arizona, and she would tell me about past players and how when Andre Dawson played, it made her think of a young Ernie Banks (she was a Cubs fan, and lo and behold, Dawson ended up joining her beloved Cubbies after her observations of his play). She was unabashed about how much she loved the game, even choosing her home in Arizona to be close to the Cubs' spring training facility. She loved Hank Aaron, and one of my first baseball memories is her getting me a biography of Hank Aaron for me to read when I was just four and had just started reading "real" books. The biography was short, but it took me a year to process through, but by then I was hooked on baseball, and especially on the Braves and their current MVP player, Dale Murphy. My great grandma passed away after nearly a decade's battle with Alzheimer's, but we could always watch baseball and she never forgot who I was when we would watch a game, though we often would watch a live game and I'd need to be sure I knew my 1960s Cubs to keep up with who she was referring to on the current Cubs' roster as she often intertwined them.
My playing story is one that I haven't told often, but growing up, I had a very good arm, but I was a pudgy kid, so I wasn't the first one to be given a chance on the mound over the other "more athletic" types. I had a coach entrust me with play at 3B at 12 years old, and I loved the spot because I could use my arm as I made plays, even if I wasn't the most athletic guy out there. That year, my coach had me pitch to him on the side after one practice, and he encouraged me to watch pitchers and learn their stuff because he'd use me the next year. Early that spring, a baseball player from our local college team was working a summer job spraying weeds along the road, and their truck broke down in front of our house. To my luck, he happened to not just be a random player, but the Friday night starter for the team. He went through nearly two hours of pitching workouts with me to show me how to perfect my follow through, my control, and make my delivery precise and consistent. I was only allowed to play one more year of baseball, but I spent it dominating on the mound any time I was there because someone was willing to take the time to share his love of the game with me.
Posted 31 March 2014 - 10:40 PM
Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:58 AM
The neighbor behind the lot always told me if I could hit the roof of his garage with a batted ball he'd give me 50 cents. Finally I hit a bomb that went over the roof, and I was all excited about getting the half buck. But when we went to retrieve the ball, it was in the house, went right thru the bedroom window. I lost money on that deal.