Three baseball games. Three consecutive one-run victories. All around Twins territory, fans’ brains are secreting happy hormones.
Last year was such a different story. I had a dry-erase board at work. I drew the Twins logo on it and then two numbers underneath that logo. One for wins, one for losses. We all remember which number grew the fastest. Every day, it seemed like I’d be adding one to the loss column. “They lost again?” the people I worked with asked. “Your team sucks,” came next. It wasn’t a question. I didn’t argue with it.
I’m so much happier this year. I have a Twins buddy at work.I usually don’t bring up a victory right away. I start with a pleasant greeting, then a little bit of small talk. I’m waiting, though. I’m waiting for the right moment. I’m smiling already. I’m thinking it, and I know he’s thinking it, too.
“How ‘bout them Twins?” I say. And whammo! There we are! Joyously reveling in the glory of another Twins victory. Today, there was a scary side to the victory - Pagan has the potential to give both of us heart attacks. But it’s fun to be a little scared when there’s a happy ending, right?
Meaningful baseball is like a campfire. It brings everyone into its glow. It inspires conversation. In our age, that conversation can happen in person, on social media, or through podcasts. When the message is winning, people want to keep spreading the message.The fire is warm; all fans are welcome.
Last year, instead of a campfire, we had a desperate fan rubbing two soggy sticks together for warmth. We had cold, raw hot dogs and nothing to talk about. I firmly believe a meaningful summer of baseball adds a whole other level to the season. It’s the B story for the rest of your life. And it’s better shared with other fans.