How does one become a baseball fan?
I didn’t grow up watching baseball. As a child, I cheered for Troy Aikman and the ‘Boys as they won three Super Bowl Championships, tuned into the occasional Dallas Stars’ playoff game, and watched whichever NBA team my brother loved at the time. Football, hockey, and basketball were the only sports that regularly appeared on the TV screens at my parents’ house. The closest I came to enjoying baseball was when we played kickball at school. But running into the gym wall because you’re too busy worrying about being tagged before you reach 1st will change your mind about a few things.
Most of my favorite people love baseball. My Twitter feed becomes inundated with all sorts of baseball talk for a good portion of the year. I know a dude backpacking in Europe that splurged for MLB.TV so he could watch an Opening Day game live. The smartest people I know love to debate about who’s going to win the pennant this year. I don’t even know what a pennant is. Did I even use that word correctly? Is there a trophy with the pennant? Needless to say, I feel very left out during baseball season.
I’ve tried to like baseball. I know the basic rules. I played Ken Griffey, Jr. Presents Major League Baseball (and Base Wars!) on my NES. I’ve even been to a few college and pro games. I enjoyed being with my pals under the hot Texas sun, drinking light beer, and eating overpriced stadium foods. When I asked Twitter if they thought I could become a baseball fan by livetweeting a season, they seemed doubtful I would. But it’d be a good excuse to enjoy all the things I already enjoy.
These baseball fanatics were not good at selling the game for me but I still wanted to know why. Why do people love baseball? Why do they love a game that runs 3 hours long with a scoreboard doesn’t see much action? Why do they love a game whose season consists of 162 games? Why do they love a game that is essentially a bunch of dudes watching one dude swing a wooden stick at a little ball? What is it about this simple sport that makes it America’s Past Time?
So asked the people. How did they become baseball fans?
The people are the connection. They love the sport because someone else loved it first. They make and share memories through it. I saw hints of that when I casually went to games, but love for this long game is, I suspect, a long game. So, I plan on committing to a season of baseball. I will follow a team, listen and watch games each week, study the game’s history, and learn each batter’s walk-up songs. And you, Internet, will be my person. Through tweets and posts, I know that you will help me understand the game, and perhaps through this experiment, I will become a baseball fan. I can’t wait to make memories with you.