Monday, September 19, 2005

Lessons learned

I've learned a lot about baseball in general this year, having come to my appreciation of the game later rather than earlier. And learning more about baseball has enhanced that very appreciation, helping to make this such a memorable season for me personally.

Friday night, I learned a hard lesson about being a fan and sharing my fan-ness (I know, it's not a word. Whatever.) with others.

Never. EVER. Go to a game with a non-fan. Especially during a September pennant/wild-card race.

I was headed to a professional meeting this weekend in Galveston, and figured since I would be passing in and out of the Houston area, I could take in a game during the process. Bought my tickets months ago, when I registered for the meeting. Cool.

Well, a friend asked at the last minute to carpool to the meeting with me. I agreed, but informed her that I was going to the game on Friday night, and she could either attend the game with me, sit in the car, or find another ride. She was like, "Sure! I'll go! Sounds fun!"

Has anyone guessed how this story ends yet?

First of all, she had no interest in the game, other than to look at Craig Biggio's backside. Granted, my appreciation of the attractiveness of the team has already been noted in this blog elsewhere, but I do actually watch the game. Which became increasingly difficult Friday night as the evening wore on, since this friend simply saw this as any other social outing. She also became more and more bored, and started saying things like, "Are you tired? Because we still have an hours' drive to Galveston." Finally, in the bottom of the 7th, a little frustrated, I said, "We'll leave after this inning is done." It had been a pitcher's duel between Oswalt and Helling, score tied 1-1, and looked headed to extra innings. So, in consideration of the non-fan with me, we left early, and I turned on the radio to listen to Milo and Ash in the car (Astros' radio announcers Milo Hamilton and Alan Ashby).

I listened, on the radio, to what has been called better than pitching a no-hitter, the defining moment of the season, and the perfect Hollywood ending. Bottom of the ninth, two outs, two on. Jeff Bagwell, the stalwart star of the franchise, in his third pinch-hit appearance since coming off a four-month stint on the disabled list, lines a 1-1 fastball into right for the game-winning RBI. The emotion that was audible--palpable, even--through my car radio, from fans, and from the announcers, was incredible, almost once-in-a-lifetime.

I had been there. And I left.

I accept responsibility. It was my choice, she didn't make me leave.

But I will never again, under any circumstances, take a non-fan to a game.

And it will be weeks before sharp objects are allowed back into my house.


At 4:08 PM, Blogger Leah said...

My husband and I had a similar experience nearly 8 years ago. I still can't talk about it. Also, we decided not to go to Kerry Wood's 20K game because the other people who had wanted to go changed their minds to study for finals.

Sadly, stories like these will make you a better baseball fan. Just think, 15 years from now you'll be able to freak out some poor young kid with the horrors that you had to live through. :)

At 1:12 PM, Blogger J said...

If it makes you feel any better, I listen to or watch most Cards games, and yet have COMPLETELY missed the three most exciting Cardinal walk-off moments of the season:

1) Albert Pujols' walk-off against the 'Stros on July 15th

2) David Eckstein's 9th inning Grand Slam against the Braves on August 7

3) Jim Edmonds' double against the Giants on August 19, capping a five run rally. I was out of town and didn't even find out about it for days!

Anyway, I think yours is worse, since I was never AT these games. But still. I totally feel your pain. With all our baseball devotion, why must we be so punished?

Great site, btw. (Thanks, Lakeline!) Bloglining it now...

At 5:27 AM, Blogger danyah said...

Thanks, Julia! I'm having fun with this blog, that's for sure.

And if it makes YOU feel any better, I WAS watching when Pujols hit that game-winner against the 'Stros on 7/15--and wished I wasn't! Hee.


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