There comes a time in the life of a baseball fan when they sit down and examine how they got to this point. Why do I love the team I root for? How do I know the things I know about the sport? Why am I a fan? It’s an interesting thing to ponder because baseball, unlike any other sport, has a deep-seeded history in our country, our family, etc. I’m not here today to preach about the sport’s history (I did that already), but instead today’s rant will be a plea for the modern baseball fan to sit back, put down the Twitter and Facebook and all that good stuff, grab a bowl of chips and a sandwich and just watch baseball. For one game try to eliminate the moves your team could make or shouldn’t make but didn’t and lay back and watch and listen. It’s a beautiful thing.
We’re all fans of baseball for one reason or another, and every now and then it helps to remember why. It wasn’t so that we could criticize the GM or the manager or whoever else is the reason our team lost. We didn’t become fans to try and act like we know how the entire industry should be run (That’s something we all pick up in later years) or to scream our heads off because the club was shutout or the closer blew what should’ve been an easy save. It probably started when good old Dad sat down and watched the game and you really wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Or maybe he threw a glove in front of you and told you to hustle outside. Perhaps you were like Scotty Smalls who
just wanted to fit in so bad you adopted what would become not just a sport, but a culture. There’s a million other reasons why someone fell in love with baseball. In truth, you didn’t adopt the sport, it adopted you. You’re in the family of baseball fans whose lineage could be traced back over one hundred years. We’re not fans because we like to criticize our teams. We’re fans because, in simplest terms, baseball is the greatest sport that has ever been invented.
I like football. I enjoy watching football. It’s high intensity and heart pounding and extremely exciting. I like basketball. I like the theatrics and the athleticism. I like the stars and the personality and the trick shots and all that. I enjoy watching basketball. I love baseball. I plan my day around baseball. It’s not only because it’s my favorite sport, but because when I watch baseball, I feel connected with everyone who has watched it before and everyone who will watch it after. I often sit and wonder if my Grandpa used to yell about the ownership and how “They’re ruining the team and can’t put together a roster.” I look back on my life as a fan, and if asked I could pinpoint the moment I became a fan, and it wasn’t to have a heart attack over what people say on Twitter, or because my team couldn’t score, or because my team’s superstar second baseman felt his time was better spent with the moose up in the Pacific Northwest than here in the greatest city on Earth… Sorry. Kind of got carried away there. Let’s move on. I became a fan to be a part of something that has been a fixture in America for longer than most industries. I became a fan to have something to love and to fill the lazy summer afternoons with something I’ll forever find a passion in.
I’ve learned that I’m a better fan when I’m relaxed and just watch the game. If I sit and watch without judgement I can appreciate the beauty of the sport. The fact that I can disappear into the green grass and blue skies for hours and hours on end and know that so many others around the country are doing the same thing. I say all this today not to judge or tell you how to be a fan because that would be ridiculous. No, I won’t do any of that. But I will ask you to do this. The next time you sit and watch a game put the T.V. on mute so you don’t hear the broadcasters tell you this or that. Grab some great food and some great people to enjoy the day and that food with. Put on some really great music and watch the game. It’s a wonderful sport no matter what, but it’s one of the most beautiful things someone could experience when it’s done right. We’re all fans for a reason. Let’s take some time to remember why that is. Play ball.