I’m a huge, huge baseball fan. Namely, of the New York Mets and Yankees. Everyone I knew grewing up in the South Bronx lived and breathed baseball. Well, everyone except my mother. She found baseball to be excruciatingly boring. However, she never tried to convince me of her viewpoint. She found it amusing that scrawny, book-nerd me, loved baseball. But when she saw the scorecards that I kept, she figured it was a math thing for me. It wasn’t. I genuinely loved and still love baseball. I do readily admit I really liked the movie Moneyball. But my liking of said movie says more about how Brad Pitt can occasionally be a really good actor than it says about why I love baseball.
I grew up in New York and thus I had two good teams to root for. I could easily go see a game via public transportation. Back then a kid like myself could get $5 seats. The local television station carried the games. I could stay at home and be accompanied by the baseball players on television. It kept me safe and sound. I loved being a fan. I had no idea about steroids or gambling.
Although we are in Los Angeles now, I still want my son to love baseball. I want him to root for the Mets. I want him to anticipate the Yankees coming from behind at the bottom of the ninth to win. You can never rule the Yankees out. That’s the New York spirit. I want that to be etched into his being and DNA.
Sadly, my son loves basketball. I keep telling him it’s not an “either/or” situation. He can love both sports. I explain that besides baseball, I really love tennis. But that doesn’t really seem to change his perspective.
Hence, I had my fingers crossed this weekend. We were gifted Dodgers’ tickets right behind home plate. I was excited to go. I had worked really hard this week, including business travel and had stayed up till 11pm Saturday night working. I needed fun time. While the Dodgers are not a New York team, although they once were many years ago, I was very much looking forward to a baseball game. I was the only one at home with such anticipation.
We went to the stadium early, so that we could catch a bite to eat. I was really looking forward to a hot dog. I wanted the whole experience and we got it. We started off by going to the stadium club where we got Dodger dogs and my son could get a magnificent view of the stadium. Look at how lovely this simple plate setting looks with a view of the stadium!
Afterwards, we made our way to our seats behind home plate. People did the wave, about ten foul balls came our way, and my son got to toss a beach ball around due to the very friendly seat neighbors around us. There was a great sense of camaraderie. I shared my fried oreos with everyone.
But the best part was that the Dodgers were behind most of the game. I have extolled the glory of the Yankees come-from-behind wins. Then the eighth inning came. The Dodgers were behind 7-3. My son was starting to get bored. I was starting to panic. I needed him to have fun at this game. Then, Kike Hernandez, a fellow Puerto Rican, came to bat. He fended off about 13 pitches. And he walked. Then the bases were loaded. And then, Corey Seager hit a grand slam. Everyone was overjoyed. And my son screamed like a mad man. I was happy.
Now, can we do this again?