Thursday, March 16, 2006

On Being A Baseball Fan

I am a baseball fan, and have been my entire life. I'm a big baseball fan, a huge fan, intense, hard-core and whatever other synonyms people have used to describe my love of baseball. But I'm not really a fan of the game of baseball in the most general sense. I'm a fan of very specific and narrow bands in the spectrum of baseball.

True, I love baseball as a game, as defined by its rules, but it's only certain rules that I truly love. To finally get specific here, I can say, after much thought on this, that I am a fan of Major League Baseball. But even more specifically, I'm a fan of MLB as it is played on the field during the regular season, post-season and All-Star games. I am also a fan of major league fans; I love fans and how they act at games. I am also a fan of statistics and statistically oriented history. I am a fan of baseball on the radio, team uniforms, and I absolutely love major league ballparks.

Everybody I know knows how big a fan I am, and I am constantly approached by any number of people on the topic of baseball, usually to get my opinion. But quite often they are amazed at my lack of interest in certain aspects of baseball. Just today somebody at work engaged me about the World Baseball Classic. I had no answer because, well to be blunt, I don't care about it. I haven't kept up with any of it, either through the papers or online. "Oh, I thought you'd know because you're such a big fan." If anything I hate it because it's taking ballplayers away from where they're supposed to be; with their major league teams. My brother is coaching a teeball team this year, my nephew's team, and approached me last year about the topic. He was shocked to find out that I have no interest whatsoever in coaching Little League. But, of course I'll watch my nephew play. He's my nephew.

I'm not a fan of Little League, high school, college, the minor leagues, or even spring training. I couldn't care less about Olympic baseball or the WBC. I don't even know who's on team USA except for the exhibition game they played against a Giants split squad last Sunday. I only listened to that game because it was broadcast on the Giants station, and my interest suffered because it wasn't two major league teams. And also, I'm not a fan of many of the perhipheral happenings in MLB. I couldn't care less about the contract between the players union and MLB, I don't care much about salaries (generally), drug testing policies, front office stuff, Rule 5 draft picks, fantasy baseball, gambling, hot prospects playing in some swamp somewhere, mascots, the national anthem, Sandy Alderson, 19th century baseball, video games, to name a few.

I love going to games in other ballparks and will compare how a team's fans will react to a play or player with how other team's fans would react to the same. Dodger fans do this, A's fans might, but Giants fans don't. I love baseball's architecture in its ballparks. I love the roster of the 1985 Pirates and the uniforms worn by the '67 A's. I love yearly schedules, standings, all-time records. I love Topps 1971 baseball cards. I love going to games, drinking a beer, spitting sunflower seeds, yelling at the players, watching the fans, and talking about baseball.


  1. I liked the 1967 Topps set, with the Seaver rookie trophy card and the change in background after the first series. And a certain valued rookie card issued late in the seventh series - the Jerry Koosman rookie card. The other pitcher on that card was a guy named Ryan.
    would you be interested in playing fantasy baseball in a free yahoo private league? Draft is on March 26th.

  2. Thanks, but no. I play fantasy baseball in my head.