Monday, May 1, 2006

A Bleacher Bum Is Born

Today, May 1st, is the 25th anniversary of my first game in the bleachers. I remember some of that game well. What happened that night would shape my baseball spectating career in a huge way, lasting forever.

It was a Friday night Oakland A's game against the New York Yankees. Billy Martin was the manager, Billy Ball was promoted in ads, Rickey Henderson was an emerging star, and I loved the experience. I went with 12 other guys, mostly from a church group, but three were neighbors and longtime friends. I remember Ken and his brothers, and maybe two others.

We took the train (BART) to the game and sat in the left field bleachers. It was the second aisle from the foul pole, on the center field side of the aisle. This would not only be the section I would sit in for the remainder of my bleacher bumming life, but the same bench would be the usual parking space for my bum, so to speak. We yelled at the left fielder for the Yankees, and this would be the pattern forever. I also had my first beer that night (I was 17 - shhhhh) which would start a lifelong tradition, too.

Being "born" this way makes me wonder if it were always in the genes.

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