Baseball. America’s pastime. Without a doubt my favorite sport. I should clarify it is my favorite sport to watch, not to play. In all honesty no sport is my favorite to play. My hand-eye coordination is below that of a five-year-old’s, so I am normally more of the sideline cheerleader or team mom than the player. Anyways, I love watching baseball. And with the season just starting, I have been thinking about by favorite team a lot.
It still cracks me up that one of my first memories as a tiny little human was at a San Francisco Giants game. I don’t remember it incredibly well, seeing as I was like three years old but still… I remember the long drive to San Francisco from my hometown and being so excited, but not knowing exactly why. I remember not being to see much because I was such a pip squeak. I remember being freezing cold because Candlestick Park was always an arctic tundra. I remember eating a hot dog in approximately sixty seconds. And I remember my excitement never waning.
Then I was a little older and going to Giants games shortly after AT&T park opened. I remember watching Barry Bonds, JT Snow and Jeff Kent. I remember sliding down the slide in the giant Coca-Cola bottle (before it closed…stupid lawsuits). I remember begging my mom for a souvenir literally every time we were there. And I remember the excitement still being there.
Then I remember being a senior in high school and the Giants wining the World Series for the first time since their move to San Francisco. I remember watching the final game at home with my family and everyone freaking out. I remember my mom saying she would sign me out of school so I could go to the victory parade. Then I remember being at that parade with over a million other people with the same excitement.
Eventually I moved to Memphis and my beloved Giants were over 2,000 miles away. On a good day they may be a bit closer, but no where near as close as they had been for the first 22 years of my life. But then I went to my first Memphis Redbirds game and I realized something. While absolutely nothing compares to watching the Giants play at AT&T park, my love for the game of baseball is bigger than that one team
I love that I am always able to make a new friend at a game because the fans are just that nice. I love that every ball park has some specialty food that is the “best thing you will ever eat,” bless you Gilroy garlic fries and Rendevous barbecue nachos. I love the fun traditions each team has (a.k.a. SF’s Journey obsession). I love the teams, players and clear love for what they do. And lastly, I love that feeling you get when you are on the edge of your seat because the game is just that close in the bottom of the ninth. The Redbirds taught me that.
The Giants will always be my first and greatest love in baseball, but like most things the love has grown over the years. Until next time… CB