Welcome to my baseball blog. I’m no one of particular importance, but I happen to love baseball and enjoy writing, so creating a baseball blog only seems natural to me. Why it just occurred to me tonight to do it I have no idea. But, never-the-less, here I am.
My first entry is just a little introduction about me. This is my first experience blogging so bear with me as I settle into my blogging style and learn how to use all the confusing tools I have access to on here. 🙂 Hope you enjoy!
People often ask me how a girl got soooo into baseball. Well – a lot of things factored into it, and the timing of all of those things colliding made the impact that much more intense. But honestly, the foundation was always there. I’m from St. Louis, MO, home of the St. Louis Cardinals. Those of you who know – well, just about anything about baseball – know that St. Louis fans are considered to be some of the best fans in the game. We have the intensity you might find in Boston or New York, the dedication through thick and (extremely) thin that you see at Wrigley Field, the respect Phillies fans are oblivious to, and the knowledge that rivals ESPN’s staff. We recognize and often applaud a good play – even if it’s against us – and win or lose, we draw a crowd. I grew up in “Baseballtown, USA” – being a Cardinal’s fan was inevitable. Becoming a fan of the other 29 teams? Well there’s no better city to raise you to respect your opponent and hold even your biggest rival with regard.
After a disgusting breakup in my early 20s I was desperate for a distraction. It was early spring and I was at a new job. I overheard the guys planning their fantasy baseball draft. I, of course, knew very little about fantasy sports or how they worked, but it sounded fun so I pushed my way in. Being the only girl in a 16 team league, it was assumed that I would suck. The guys insisted that I choose a rather girlie team name, making it obvious that I don’t entirely belong. So I named my team My Little Pony. (Several times that season I found myself in first place, so I appropriately changed my team name to “Your Losing To A Girl.” They didn’t find it as funny as I did.) That summer I learned so much more about baseball and began to fall in love with players and teams all over the country. (I finished 6th overall, out of 16, not too bad for a girl, huh?)
For 7 years my family had season tickets, so I went to dozens of games each year and drank plenty of beer in nearby bars. One night I randomly met a guy who played for the Cardinals. A few weeks later I met a guy from the Reds. Then a Mets pitcher. I soon became close with a guy who seemed to know just about everyone in baseball, and he roped me into his circle as “one of the guys.” Over the course of a few years I had built a handful of good friendships that I still cherish to this day, tons of acquaintances and possibly even a couple of enemies in Major League clubhouses. (This eventually spilled over into the world of agents, scouts, front office folks and, down the line, even a couple of people from ESPN.) Knowing various people around the leagues increased my interest in other teams – and suddenly I found myself watching Pirates games, following the Nationals religiously, flying to see games that weren’t even the Cardinals… Some of these teams were, at times, painful to watch – yet I was captivated.
It’s been several years since my love for the game turned into a slight obsession, and with each passing season I find more reasons to fall even deeper in love with the game.
Tomorrow is Opening Day 2011. The Cardinals play at 315, following the traditional Player Parade and the team of Clydesdales pulling the Anheuser Busch beer wagon around the warning track. We have one of the most elaborate opening ceremonies in all of baseball; it’s pretty amazing. If you ever get the chance to see it – I recommend that you do. Even if you’re not an STL fan, you’ll be amazed. New players are often seen with video cameras taking it all in – wanting to freeze the moment in time.
I’ll be heading downtown around 10 to start celebrating with pep rallies and baseball’s version of tailgating. (commonly known as hanging out and drinking in a bar pre-game) Check back later – I’ll let you know how it goes!