Someday, we knew it would happen, and I’m not sure whether to blame peer pressure or the baseball novels he’s been reading, but Kiddo#1 got interested in following actual major league baseball.
My Patient Husband would rather have a tooth extracted without anesthesia than watch a baseball game, and to be honest, I’ve given up on all major league sports as they’ve become more interested in money and greed and less interested in even the pretense of good sportsmanship.
Which is, I admit, a shame. I have lots of terrific memories of baseball while growing up: playing it, watching it, talking about it, reading about it.
A couple of years ago, Kiddo#1 asked to watch the world series, so we sat with him through a couple of innings. We were offended. How could baseball offend us? The commercials: the station was advertising TV programs that were offensive, and therefore the commercials themselves were offensive. Within ten minutes we heard all about farting, sex, body parts I don’t care to discuss with my children, and greed.
When we turned off the game that night (oh, and of course it was on way past his bedtime, because why would they want a family-friendly hour for a family-friendly sport?) we decided not to bring up the subject again, and it never came up.
Until this weekend, when K1 looked it up in the paper and told me what time the local team was playing.
(I’m kind of stuck here, because you’d think the Angeltown team would be the “Angels” but someone already grabbed that!)
In recent years, we’ve gone down to basic cable, and one of the joys is that we couldn’t find a TV station that showed the game. But K1 agreed listening on the radio was just fine for him, so we found the station and set him up.
I was in the next room listening to him listening to the game while I took care of the baby. And then I heard him cheer and run into the hallway and call, “Home run!”
My heart broke for him, because no one was around to celebrate with him. So once Kiddo#4 fell asleep, I took my knitting and went to his room.
“Mind if I join you?”
He looked suspicious. “You don’t like baseball.”
“But I can listen.” And I did.
I explained parts of the game he didn’t understand. We went through four more innings before he decided the game was effectively over, but during that time, I knitted about five inches of scarf, and we laughed about the game, he told me things his classmates had said about the players, and we groaned together when it became obvious the pitcher was tiring. And then, a grand-slam home run that effectively ended the game.
“Will the woman who lost her nine children please report to the Angeltown Stadium?” I intoned in a deep voice. “They’re beating the Principalities eight to two at the bottom of the third inning.”
K1 laughed out loud. I didn’t tell him it was originally my brother’s joke, nor that my Patient Husband has heard it fifty times already. To him, it was new. It was exciting. This was what baseball was all about: heartbreak, bad statistics, and playing a card game while listening to the radio with his mother.
Not a bad sport, I guess. And not an offensive commercial in earshot.
I think we’ll do it again next weekend, assuming there’s a day game.
Here’s my baseball story:
When I was 10 years old…the New York Yankees were down 14 1/2 to the dreaded Boston Red Sox. I was crying because the Yankees had won the World Series the year before.
My dad said, “don’t worry…they will come back!” (This was of course, before Wild Card playoffs and all that). And then Bucky Dent hit that home run in Fenway Park in the one-game playoff.
I have been a fan ever since. I love baseball!
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