I *hated* baseball growing up. Grandpa Jack and Grandma Mary always had the radio on on the background when we visited. Constant noise.
Daddy played in college. That's how he got the scar that kept him out of 'nam. In hindsight, I should probably have loved the game more than I originally did. But I was a child, so I was just confused as to why my huge father played baseball instead of football, which he preferred as a spectator.
When brother played little league, I had to be a scorekeeper. I had to mark the runs, the errors, the hits, etc. It had its own symbolic language, which was cool, but it required me to pay attention to my younger brother and his friends rather than going off to play with the other kids, which was not cool. Thank goodness E2 was subject to the same scorekeeping duty on behalf of her brother's team (or perhaps they were on the same team, I can't recall) -- but I do think that's where we originally cemented our friendship, between the hits and errors.
Once, when I was small, Dad took me to a Giant's game with our local Indian Princesses group. Frankly, it was scary. Loud. Big people. Lots of Orange and White. I do remember Candlestick Park though. I thought that was a very cool name for a park.
In college, I knew a few baseball players, and I decided it was a solid sport. They worked hard. They were cocky when good, but humble when bad. Overall, I started to develop a soft spot for the sport.
My first employer had season tickets to the Giants and I developed a healthy respect for the game. I even watched a few college players from CAL make their early careers after I graduated. (ASIDE -- HOW COULD CAL HAVE ELIMINATED BASEBALL AS AN NCAA SPORT?)
When the Giants played the Angels in the world series, I got to go to a game with my employer. It was amazing.
And then, the Giants fell off my radar.
I focused on my life and they did their thing.
Until this year.
When my step-dad showed up to drop off his trailer to attend the first NLCS game and brought me back a good-luck hat.
I've been wearing that hat and watching games whenever I can ever since.
I've celebrated Giants wins this year at my Mom's house, Kapp's, home, the Grand Wailea, and McTeague's.
Tonight, amongst the crowd at Kapp's, E and I celebrated the win with an adorable local couple who've had season tickets for 32 years. The number of pins on their hats? Amazing.
And, as it's all progressed, I've finally become a true baseball fan. What a game! I love it -- the numbers, the data, the athleticism, the drama, the americana, and the esoterica. I look forward to next season!