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How did you get hooked on baseball?


mikelink45
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Reading the various forums and postings I started to think about how I got hooked on baseball.  It was in the 1950s and there were not a lot of competing options.  As I went through school there was no LaCrosse or Soccer, the options were limited and so was the TV exposure.  The game of the week was an event and so was the annual trip that I took with my parents and grandparents to Milwaukee to watch the Braves play the Dodgers. 

I had my transistor radio under my pillow at night, the box scores were golden, and magic numbers like 60, 300, 400 were tantalizing.  I watched players moving towards the magic numbers - 3000, 500 - and it mattered.  Each game seemed to matter.  Pitchers struggled through 14 innings, batters bunted, players stole bases, it was a magic formula with lots of options and the chance to sit in Milwaukee Country stadium with the cool breeze and Mathews, Aaron, and Adcock coming to bat just seemed like the best that there was.

Willie and Ted had been in the Minnesota Minor leagues, the teams all had history and I felt like I was moving into something that was restricted to only the true believer.  The Giants almost came to Minnesota, but followed the Dodgers to that awful place that had stolen the Lakers and nothing seemed innocent anymore. 

Now I try to take my grandkids to the games, but they are too boring, too long...  They play the new sports.  Football used to have 60 minute players, now they have so much armor that no one can recognize anything but a number, however, betting kept the NFL from losing its place - instead it grew.  Meanwhile baseball had the Black Sox scandal and Pete Rose to point to the evils of gambling.

Baseball on TV is slow and boring.  No tension - will he steal?  Who?  No one is on baseball.  A Double play was a fielding art - but you need someone on to make it work.  

Bubblegum came with baseball players - it was fun, not an investment.

So what brought you to the game and how do you get your kids or grandkids to care?

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I remember watching it with my dad.  What really got me hooked was actually playing the game.  Even at the T-ball level, I wasn't very good even relative to the other kids, but I was definitely hooked.  As I got better, it just got cemented.  As I started to understand all of the small battles within the game more, I got even more invested.  

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I was Real Young when the twins came to Town until then not much exposure. But my mom and Grandma listen to the radio, then my brother-in-law took me to Twins games I sat on the third base side by myself while he and my cousins husband went to the Clubhouse or whatever they called the bar. But I got to watch Killebrew,Oliva,Bob Allison , Zoilo and others come out Pitch and Hit. it was exciting, I was also there for Rod Carew's first game. in the end I took his son to see the Twins just like he had me. and now the same son takes his 2 sons to the games. We used to see what give a ways they had and go on those Days but we went when they were going against a good team. at the time Kirby Pucket was young and catching everything in Center Field. We got to watch them in the World Series beat the Atlanta Braves, & the St. Louis Cardinals.

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As I just wrote in a different thread, I was born in Milwaukee in the early 1950s. We were a baseball loving family - my grampa took me to see his beloved Cubs at Wrigley when I was quite young.

Without a TV in the house we listened to the Braves on the radio on our back porch. I could attend games in the right field bleachers of County Stadium as a member of the Knothole Club (Gang?) for 50 cents.

It added to the appeal that our star right fielder, Mr. Henry Aaron, lived a few houses down our street in Mequon, Wisconsin. His daughter Gail was in my class at public school, but after a year or two her parents pulled her out due to how much racist crap she had to deal with (her dad wrote about this in his autobiography I Had a Hammer).

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I always had a fascination for baseball from when I heard Mel Allen always say "How about that". I watched Mickey, Willie and the Duke when I was a kid then learned that Duke and I shared a birthday. I couldn't wait to go outside with my bat to hit a few or get my next pack of baseball cards which I could trade (remember going through them saying "got it, got it, need it", etc.), toss or flip against my friends. Then I joined the Little League and went on from there. Despite all of baseball's issues, I have never stopped loving the sport. 

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The McGwire/Sosa HR chase in 1998 cemented my love for the game. I was starting to play organized games, and informal games of backyard baseball in the neighborhood. Every kid in the neighborhood copied batting stances we would see on SportsCenter. 

The irony is a good percentage of baseball fans think PEDs ruined the game. But if it weren’t for that compelling story line, I wouldn’t have been excited to read the box scores in the newspaper each morning. 

I started out being a fan of individual players like Ken Griffey Jr, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, McGwire… Then the Twins started their run of division titles in 2001 and I jumped on the bandwagon. 

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I was 7 years old when the Twins played the Dodgers in the 1965 World Series.  I have to agree with Ashbury, baseball cards on the back of cereal boxes contributed as did baseball cards in general.  Trading and debating who was better took up HOURS of rainy days we couldn't play outside.  It started with the neighborhood, big kids (12-13 years old) playing sandlot baseball with even us "little kids" (6-7 years old).  I took to the game pretty well and really started to enjoy it and I became interested in learning about the history.  My elementary school had a BUNCH of books by a guy named Milton Shapiro.  The Jackie Robinson story, Duke Snider, Willie Mays etc...)  I was a Twins fan "first" (I lived and died with each at bat Tony Oliva had) but I fell in love with the tragic Brooklyn Dodgers.  (I know...a kid in Rochester Minnesota enamored with a team from Brooklyn NY).  I read ALL these books, memorized stats on the back of baseball cards and then suddenly here are the Twins playing in the World Series against the DODGERS!  Just before the World Series started, my Dad (who sold TV ads for the NBC station in Rochester, brings home a COLOR TV !  All the neighborhood kids crowded into our small living room to watch the games on our color TV.  It's game #1 and the Dodgers best pitcher, Sandy Koufax isn't pitching.  I ask my Mom why?  She tells me he's Jewish and it's Yom Kippur, the holiest day of their religion.  I was a Catholic.  I was amazed that this baseball player would do this.  I thought to myself, "How could I EVER do this??  It's the World Series, he's the BEST.  His team needs him.  But his faith came first.  I became a HUGE Koufax fan from that moment going forward.  The Twins won that game and then beat Koufax in game #2.  I thought we had it in the bag.  Then in Game #7 Koufax is brilliant and the Twins lose.  I'm disappointed, but I remember from all of Shapiro's books how often the Dodgers lost to the Yankees and the disappointment they suffered each season.  I'm 7 years old, I feel bad for the Twins, but good for Koufax and the Dodgers.  And I fully expect the Twins will be back next year and will win it.  Well, I had to wait until 1987 but it was worth it.  People say the game is too slow, and it was very disappointing to see baseball "go woke" and move the All Star game but there I was last night, watching the Twins win in extra innings (with no interest in watching the Olympics) because I love baseball.  My son and two daughters each played baseball and softball.  I coached them until they got to High School and I loved watching them play.  They enjoyed the sport as well.  I'm not sure if any of the Grandkids will play, but they're dabbling in it with T-Ball and the like.  I'll just have to see.  If they play, I would love it.  If not, I'll support them in whatever sports/activities they choose, because it's their choice.  But I will always LOVE baseball.

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2 hours ago, Melissa said:

As I just wrote in a different thread, I was born in Milwaukee in the early 1950s. We were a baseball loving family - my grampa took me to see his beloved Cubs at Wrigley when I was quite young.

Without a TV in the house we listened to the Braves on the radio on our back porch. I could attend games in the right field bleachers of County Stadium as a member of the Knothole Club (Gang?) for 50 cents.

It added to the appeal that our star right fielder, Mr. Henry Aaron, lived a few houses down our street in Mequon, Wisconsin. His daughter Gail was in my class at public school, but after a year or two her parents pulled her out due to how much racist crap she had to deal with (her dad wrote about this in his autobiography I Had a Hammer).

Thanks for sharing that.  Before the Twins arrived my family always drove to Milwaukee to see the Braves.  I loved that team.

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1 hour ago, TopGunn#22 said:

I was 7 years old when the Twins played the Dodgers in the 1965 World Series.  I have to agree with Ashbury, baseball cards on the back of cereal boxes contributed as did baseball cards in general.  Trading and debating who was better took up HOURS of rainy days we couldn't play outside.  It started with the neighborhood, big kids (12-13 years old) playing sandlot baseball with even us "little kids" (6-7 years old).  I took to the game pretty well and really started to enjoy it and I became interested in learning about the history.  My elementary school had a BUNCH of books by a guy named Milton Shapiro.  The Jackie Robinson story, Duke Snider, Willie Mays etc...)  I was a Twins fan "first" (I lived and died with each at bat Tony Oliva had) but I fell in love with the tragic Brooklyn Dodgers.  (I know...a kid in Rochester Minnesota enamored with a team from Brooklyn NY).  I read ALL these books, memorized stats on the back of baseball cards and then suddenly here are the Twins playing in the World Series against the DODGERS!  Just before the World Series started, my Dad (who sold TV ads for the NBC station in Rochester, brings home a COLOR TV !  All the neighborhood kids crowded into our small living room to watch the games on our color TV.  It's game #1 and the Dodgers best pitcher, Sandy Koufax isn't pitching.  I ask my Mom why?  She tells me he's Jewish and it's Yom Kippur, the holiest day of their religion.  I was a Catholic.  I was amazed that this baseball player would do this.  I thought to myself, "How could I EVER do this??  It's the World Series, he's the BEST.  His team needs him.  But his faith came first.  I became a HUGE Koufax fan from that moment going forward.  The Twins won that game and then beat Koufax in game #2.  I thought we had it in the bag.  Then in Game #7 Koufax is brilliant and the Twins lose.  I'm disappointed, but I remember from all of Shapiro's books how often the Dodgers lost to the Yankees and the disappointment they suffered each season.  I'm 7 years old, I feel bad for the Twins, but good for Koufax and the Dodgers.  And I fully expect the Twins will be back next year and will win it.  Well, I had to wait until 1987 but it was worth it.  People say the game is too slow, and it was very disappointing to see baseball "go woke" and move the All Star game but there I was last night, watching the Twins win in extra innings (with no interest in watching the Olympics) because I love baseball.  My son and two daughters each played baseball and softball.  I coached them until they got to High School and I loved watching them play.  They enjoyed the sport as well.  I'm not sure if any of the Grandkids will play, but they're dabbling in it with T-Ball and the like.  I'll just have to see.  If they play, I would love it.  If not, I'll support them in whatever sports/activities they choose, because it's their choice.  But I will always LOVE baseball.

Great memories - I was working at Dayton's as a stock boy and they had a TV on 7th floor with a room filled with chairs.  We went on break to watch the series and the breaks were often and long. 

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I have to add a thank you to my great uncle Clarence.  He was disabled in Ardennes, WWI,  and I would spend a lot of evenings and weekends with him playing cribbage and listening to the ball games.  He taught me what was important and how to root for a team and players.  He lived to be 96 despite devastating injuries and never lost his love of the game.  His brother, my grandfather played catch with me when I lived with him and my dad always had a glove or two in the car when we traveled to see my grandparents or went to see the Braves. 

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I was ten years old when the Twins won in 1987. I had watched a few Brewers games before then (lived in Wisconsin until 1985) but the sport never really held my interest. While my dad is a sports fan, he was never much of a baseball fan and football/basketball were the main sporting events in my household growing up. When the Twins began winning in 1987 and it appeared they were headed to the postseason, it became en vogue in my elementary school to wear the new "M" cap so I just had to have one like the rest of the kids. I got the hat and watched my first World Series that October.

So ultimately, it was a stupid ****ing hat that got me into baseball.

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I think for me it was watching my dad play baseball and softball, playing catch a bunch with mom and dad. Then in probably 1981, some guy gave my dad a brown paper grocery bag full of baseball cards from like 1981 and 1982. I collected cards when I could. Organized them in a variety of was (by number, by team). Then I started playing Little League... As for the Twins, I remember getting a ball in BP when I was young, maybe '83, but I don't remember a ton. Then Kirby Puckett got called up and became my favorite player, and been a baseball guy since. 

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21 minutes ago, Seth Stohs said:

I think for me it was watching my dad play baseball and softball, playing catch a bunch with mom and dad. Then in probably 1981, some guy gave my dad a brown paper grocery bag full of baseball cards from like 1981 and 1982. I collected cards when I could. Organized them in a variety of was (by number, by team). Then I started playing Little League... As for the Twins, I remember getting a ball in BP when I was young, maybe '83, but I don't remember a ton. Then Kirby Puckett got called up and became my favorite player, and been a baseball guy since. 

It is fun to see all the ways we have connected to the game.  Now baseball has to recognize these pathways and look for the ways to connect future generations.

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1 hour ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

I was ten years old when the Twins won in 1987. I had watched a few Brewers games before then (lived in Wisconsin until 1985) but the sport never really held my interest. While my dad is a sports fan, he was never much of a baseball fan and football/basketball were the main sporting events in my household growing up. When the Twins began winning in 1987 and it appeared they were headed to the postseason, it became en vogue in my elementary school to wear the new "M" cap so I just had to have one like the rest of the kids. I got the hat and watched my first World Series that October.

So ultimately, it was a stupid ****ing hat that got me into baseball.

Love it - hope you still have the hat!

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5 hours ago, TopGunn#22 said:

 People say the game is too slow, and it was very disappointing to see baseball "go woke" and move the All Star game but there I was last night, watching the Twins win in extra innings (with no interest in watching the Olympics) because I love baseball.  My son and two daughters each played baseball and softball.  I coached them until they got to High School and I loved watching them play.  They enjoyed the sport as well.  I'm not sure if any of the Grandkids will play, but they're dabbling in it with T-Ball and the like.  I'll just have to see.  If they play, I would love it.  If not, I'll support them in whatever sports/activities they choose, because it's their choice.  But I will always LOVE baseball.

I always argue with those football fanatics who say that baseball is too slow. I tell them that football is a sport with kinetic energy while baseball is a sport with potential energy. Also football is played by the clock while in baseball a team can be way behind near the end and still win. Finally, I say football can be very predictable if you know how a team approaches the line of scrimmage. In baseball, you never know what will happen when a pitch is thrown and anything can happen whether it's a ball hit onto the field or even one hit into the stands where a fan has to quickly choose between his beer, his baby, or the baseball. Let's hope he never drops the baby.

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2 hours ago, twinfan said:

I always argue with those football fanatics who say that baseball is too slow. I tell them that football is a sport with kinetic energy while baseball is a sport with potential energy. Also football is played by the clock while in baseball a team can be way behind near the end and still win. Finally, I say football can be very predictable if you know how a team approaches the line of scrimmage. In baseball, you never know what will happen when a pitch is thrown and anything can happen whether it's a ball hit onto the field or even one hit into the stands where a fan has to quickly choose between his beer, his baby, or the baseball. Let's hope he never drops the baby.

I find football too complex - with all the body armor only the numbers mean anything.  Is there a real person in there?  Which down, how many yards?  But of course it is good for fantasy.

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I grew up a block from the old Wayzata High School. My dad told me we used to go past the field when they were playing varsity games and I was just captivated by it. In his words, "you just knew it was something you wanted to do". This was when I was about 4 years old. We would go to the high school games and town ball games, and my mom bought me my first baseball cards.

A year later we went to my first Twins game. Oh, and this was in 1991. 🙂 I remember watching bits and pieces of the World Series but I fell asleep before any of the games ended. I remember the morning after Game 7 excitedly asking if the Twins had won.

From there it turned into an obsession of watching the Twins, playing little league, and collecting cards...and it never stopped.

 

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I grew up across the freeway from what was to become Met Stadium.  The freeway separated Richfield (where I was born) and Bloomington.  Behind our house were open fields all the way to what was the parking lots.  On a summer evening you could see the glow of lights from the stadium.  On a still night, you could hear some of the PA announcements.  To me it was like a magical kingdom, just yards away.  As I got older, my brother and various cousins would go a ballgame.  sometimes we paid, sometimes we snuck in behind the left field bleachers.  One time my cousin and I were locked in, on the upper deck.  They had locked the gate and put barrels to block the entrance.  I remember thinking it was the last game of a homestand, and we'd be stuck up there til the Twins came home.  Kids can think up the craziest things.  Once we started throwing trash onto the deck below,, security came up and let us out.

Baseball was the sport of choice in my family.  So the love affair was there from the start.  Anyone who has gone to a game, can recollect the sights, sounds and smells, that are unique.

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I don't remember any baseball cards on the cereal boxes, and I was 10 in 1965. Collected a ton of Topps and Fleer cards, though. Bubble gum and baseball cards. Topps had the best gum. Watched all the games I could on KELO that we got in Pipestone from Sioux Falls. Don't remember what radio station we listened to. Did long hand division calculations after every at bat of the players batting averages and had tablets and tablets of my "official scoring" of the games I did by hand. What a nerd. Batting average meant something then. Still does, if you ask me. 

Sometimes, one just saves too much stuff. Who else has one of these?

Wheaties 1.jpg

Wheaties 2.jpg

Wheaties 3.jpg

Jim Klobuchar was Amy's father. Those interested can google him....

The Detroit stuff he refers to was the ALCS (2 divisions, east - Detroit - and west - Minnesota -, and I don't even know that it was called the ALCS then), as of couse, they played the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, in which all games were won by the home team. Kind of weird, looking back, that they used that for the World Series box.

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2 hours ago, Ben B said:

I grew up a block from the old Wayzata High School. My dad told me we used to go past the field when they were playing varsity games and I was just captivated by it. In his words, "you just knew it was something you wanted to do". This was when I was about 4 years old. We would go to the high school games and town ball games, and my mom bought me my first baseball cards.

A year later we went to my first Twins game. Oh, and this was in 1991. 🙂 I remember watching bits and pieces of the World Series but I fell asleep before any of the games ended. I remember the morning after Game 7 excitedly asking if the Twins had won.

From there it turned into an obsession of watching the Twins, playing little league, and collecting cards...and it never stopped.

 

Amazing how many comments include baseball cards.  Magic!

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2 hours ago, RickOShea said:

I grew up across the freeway from what was to become Met Stadium.  The freeway separated Richfield (where I was born) and Bloomington.  Behind our house were open fields all the way to what was the parking lots.  On a summer evening you could see the glow of lights from the stadium.  On a still night, you could hear some of the PA announcements.  To me it was like a magical kingdom, just yards away.  As I got older, my brother and various cousins would go a ballgame.  sometimes we paid, sometimes we snuck in behind the left field bleachers.  One time my cousin and I were locked in, on the upper deck.  They had locked the gate and put barrels to block the entrance.  I remember thinking it was the last game of a homestand, and we'd be stuck up there til the Twins came home.  Kids can think up the craziest things.  Once we started throwing trash onto the deck below,, security came up and let us out.

Baseball was the sport of choice in my family.  So the love affair was there from the start.  Anyone who has gone to a game, can recollect the sights, sounds and smells, that are unique.

You are right - the smell of the grass (for real stadiums) and the way it was mowed and the infield was prepared made it a sacred place. 

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2 hours ago, h2oface said:

I don't remember any baseball cards on the cereal boxes, and I was 10 in 1965. Collected a ton of Topps and Fleer cards, though. Bubble gum and baseball cards. Topps had the best gum. Watched all the games I could on KELO that we got in Pipestone from Sioux Falls. Don't remember what radio station we listened to. Did long hand division calculations after every at bat of the players batting averages and had tablets and tablets of my "official scoring" of the games I did by hand. What a nerd. Batting average meant something then. Still does, if you ask me. 

Sometimes, one just saves too much stuff. Who else has one of these?

Wheaties 1.jpg

Wheaties 2.jpg

Wheaties 3.jpg

Jim Klobuchar was Amy's father. Those interested can google him....

The Detroit stuff he refers to was the ALCS (2 divisions, east - Detroit - and west - Minnesota -, and I don't even know that it was called the ALCS then), as of couse, they played the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, in which all games were won by the home team. Kind of weird, looking back, that they used that for the World Series box.

I just sold my wheaties boxes along with all my cards. Loved them

 

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1 minute ago, mikelink45 said:

You are right - the smell of the grass (for real stadiums) and the way it was mowed and the infield was prepared made it a sacred place. 

Walking up the walkway to the field level box seats, was so cool as the green flooded your vision.  It was great when you could see batting practice and infield, prior to the game.  I didn't care who I was with, I was in my own world, soaking everything in.

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3 hours ago, h2oface said:

I don't remember any baseball cards on the cereal boxes, and I was 10 in 1965.

s-l300.jpg872ad5d7c66bd6ecf315a4a42995e041.jpg

Circa 1962. Delicious, nutritious, and fabulous cards (with numbers, oh so many numbers!) to cut out on the back. Pro tip: get Dad to cut them out for you, in case Future Resale Value means anything to your young mind. :)

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5 hours ago, ashbury said:

Circa 1962. Delicious, nutritious, and fabulous cards (with numbers, oh so many numbers!) to cut out on the back. Pro tip: get Dad to cut them out for you, in case Future Resale Value means anything to your young mind. :)

Man, now I feel deprived. We ate Alpha-Bits, too! Spelled words that got us in trouble. Very cool. 

You must be really old.

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Thanks for asking this question. It brings back a lot of memories.

And this morning I am recovering from my (first) Shingrix dose, so I am just sitting and reading. Typing will actually increase my activity level.

Mine was an itinerant childhood. Sort of a modified "army brat" existence. I played the game in Germany on a US base, between apartments, in 1957. Used a tennis ball to avoid defenestration. No shortage of kids there.  But I had no team to root for. No team in Minnesota.

In 1960 we moved to Lafayette, Indiana (my father was a graduate student at Purdue)--a small home on a slab purchased for $1500 on the GI bill (nothing down).

My next door neighbor was a young boy about my age, maybe a year older, and he was a sports fanatic. We played basketball in the garage with a tennis ball and a basket of some sort. (Elgin Baylor was our idol). We bowled in his hallway. We played golf with one club and one ball in his back yard.

But most of all we played WHIFFLE BALL. And we did it with real lineups. He was always the Yankees (Booooo!!!), and I had to pick a team. No local team, so I picked (drum roll) the new team in my natal state, the Minnesota Twins. I got the lineup out of the paper, and somehow learned if each player batted left or right, Baseball cards helped.To this day I know the starting lineups for the Yankees and Twins of that era. 

And I have followed every game every day of the Twins since then. First got to see them play an exhibition game in Philadelphia (we had moved east). I will never forget Don Mincher emerging from the dugout. I got Harmon Killebrew's autograph years later in Baltimore. Sad to say, I have never seen a game in Minnesota, but I have seen the Twins in Washington DC and Baltimore.

Sidebar note: living in Indiana, I picked up my first real basketball, and this became my favorite game to play.

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A World Series Championship during one's formative years will certainly bring in a lot of new fans. I was 12 years old in 1987 and that post-season run cemented me as a Twins fan for life.

I'd been hooked since much younger, probably since 1984 when my teacher told me to go downstairs and visit the school secretaries' office. Opening the door I saw my grandpa and great-uncle, smiles on their faces and Twins tickets in hand. They were busting me out of school to go see an afternoon Twins game. Crackerjacks, hot dogs with mustard packets, the organ, big announcer voice coming over the PA, the whole nine yards. And this was back during the Metrodome days, which was quite possibly the worst stadium in professional sports. I don't remember the score or even who was playing, but I was captivated. Look what's going on in the world, there's so much more to life than my little classroom in room 301 at Jefferson Elementary School.

Wanna get your grandkids interested in baseball? Next April or May, show up at their school with a couple of Twins tickets for a Wednesday afternoon game.

 

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3 hours ago, DuluthRoots said:

Thanks for asking this question. It brings back a lot of memories.

And this morning I am recovering from my (first) Shingrix dose, so I am just sitting and reading. Typing will actually increase my activity level.

Mine was an itinerant childhood. Sort of a modified "army brat" existence. I played the game in Germany on a US base, between apartments, in 1957. Used a tennis ball to avoid defenestration. No shortage of kids there.  But I had no team to root for. No team in Minnesota.

In 1960 we moved to Lafayette, Indiana (my father was a graduate student at Purdue)--a small home on a slab purchased for $1500 on the GI bill (nothing down).

My next door neighbor was a young boy about my age, maybe a year older, and he was a sports fanatic. We played basketball in the garage with a tennis ball and a basket of some sort. (Elgin Baylor was our idol). We bowled in his hallway. We played golf with one club and one ball in his back yard.

But most of all we played WHIFFLE BALL. And we did it with real lineups. He was always the Yankees (Booooo!!!), and I had to pick a team. No local team, so I picked (drum roll) the new team in my natal state, the Minnesota Twins. I got the lineup out of the paper, and somehow learned if each player batted left or right, Baseball cards helped.To this day I know the starting lineups for the Yankees and Twins of that era. 

And I have followed every game every day of the Twins since then. First got to see them play an exhibition game in Philadelphia (we had moved east). I will never forget Don Mincher emerging from the dugout. I got Harmon Killebrew's autograph years later in Baltimore. Sad to say, I have never seen a game in Minnesota, but I have seen the Twins in Washington DC and Baltimore.

Sidebar note: living in Indiana, I picked up my first real basketball, and this became my favorite game to play.

I love these reminiscences.  Elgin Baylor was wonderful and I got to see him in Minneapolis before Los Angeles stole our team. Thanks for sharing. 

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