About Me

2011 World Series

So if you’re wanting to know a little bit about me – you’ve come to the right place!  The first part of this page is actually taken right from my first blog post, but then I added in some more “About Me” stuff that’s not so baseball related…

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.

With each passing season I find more reasons to fall even deeper in love with the game.

And here’s the non baseball bio:

I grew up in south Saint Louis County.  I have 2 older sisters, 3 nephews and a niece who is also my God daughter.  My parents are still together, 40 years and going strong, and we all live within a few miles of each other.  My dad just kicked cancer’s ass – so though it’s been a rough year, my family has plenty of reasons to celebrate life!  I’m newly single, never been married and no kids – although when I find the right guy I do want both.  For four years I worked as a College Counselor where I had the privilege of helping people take huge steps to make positive changes in their lives.  Then in 2011 I decided I wanted to go back to school, full time, and continue my own education.

In my mid 20s I had this lingering itch to go to a Latin American country, learn some Spanish and take in some culture.  (Plus I’ve wanted to live on an island since I was like 6!)  I eventually got to a point where I just decided to say F-it! and go!  I booked a one way ticket to Puerto Rico and off I went.  I’d never been there before and didn’t know a single person living on the island, but I figured if I didn’t like it, I could always go home.  From the very moment that I decided I was going, I never once questioned my decision or hesitated.  When people asked me why I did it, the best answer I could ever come up with was, “Why not?”  Honestly still I don’t know what possessed me to actually go through with it, but it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

Leaving Culebra, a tiny Island off of Puerto Rico

Leaving Culebra, a tiny Island off the east coast of Puerto Rico

While in Puerto Rico I got a job waiting tables and tried to blend in as much as I could.  (My pale tan and bright red hair made this a little tricky, not to mention my Dora-like Spanish)  I soaked up lots of culture, ate a variety of new foods (good and bad) and discovered some AMAZING music.  But the absolute best part was the people.  Some of the friends I made in PR are some of the best friends I’ve ever had.  I stayed for about 16 months before returning to St. Louis, and it was an experience that changed my life.  (BTW – Leaving PR was one of the HARDEST decisions I’ve ever had to make.)  Every year during the holidays I go back to visit, and of course I always manage to squeeze in at least one Winter League baseball game! GO GIGANTES lol

Since my time in the Caribbean, I have developed quite a passion for Puerto Rico and all things even remotely related to my little island.  Now that I’m home – I’ve rekindled my love affair with baseball and the Cardinals, and have reclaimed my place in Busch Stadium!I am currently finishing up a degree in Latin American Studies at Saint Louis University and plan to go on to a masters program.  I also plan to become certified to teach English as a second language. Slowly but surely I’ve been writing a book, based on my experiences in the world of baseball, as well as entertaining tens of people with this blog!

(One very important thing you should know about me is that I can be very long winded – even in writing.  This “About Me” page is a prime example of this.  I try to trim when I edit, but just so we’re clear – you’ve been warned. lol)

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7 Comments on “About Me”

  1. DAVE says:

    Hey I enjoyed meeting you and talking to you at the game last night. This site is informative. Hopefully I can see you again soon.

  2. Fred Quitmeyer says:

    Love your blog. Not only do you know baseball you have done an excellent job with your blog.
    Thanks

    • Tiss says:

      Thanks so much for reading! I’m glad you enjoy it – and I appreciate the feedback! I’m kinda new to the whole blog thing still….so bear with me as I’m sort of making it up as I go! 🙂

  3. Ted says:

    “Those of you who know – well, just about anything about baseball – will know that St. Louis fans are known as being 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.”

    Tiss:
    I have found your blog to be interesting and on the whole well written.

    I am a fan of baseball and a long time fan of the St.Louis Cardinals. I grew up and lived in the suburbs of St Louis for 23-years. I sought my fortune as a young adult and moved to the Monterey Bay of California and I lived in their for 23-years. I now live in the greater Philadelphia area and have so for the last 15-years. I have attended many a baseball game in many cities (LA, SanFran, Oakland, St Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Philly, NY Yankees and Mets, Baltimore and Florida) over my lifetime.

    I wonder why you single out Philly fans as a whole as being disrespectful?

    Quoting you in your blog about Pujols! “The response has been, in my opinion, disgusting. I understand that Cardinal’s fans are hurt, heart-broken and feel betrayed. Once I got over the initial shock I felt that way too. But instead of being hurt, I went into defensive mode – because I was hearing and reading such horrible things I couldn’t help but defend the poor guy. Ok, insanely rich guy, but still. People are burning his jersey for crying out loud! C’mon people that’s absurd! (Besides – the Astros are who got screwed the worst in this deal jajaja) First of all – he’s not a traitor or a back-stabber or a hypocritical, greedy S.O.B. who has no loyalty. Second of all – IDIOTS! Whether he’s a Cardinal or an Angel – he’s one of the greatest of all time and that stuff will increase in value with every bomb he hits! Aghhh, I’ve never been so disappointed in Cardinal Nation. We’re supposed to be the Best Fans in Baseball, but the way people are acting – well I feel like I’m in Philly.”

    Have you ever been to a baseball game on the east coast (Philadelphia or New York)? Why single out Philly fans? From my experience, Boston fans are the worst. Your own blog compares St. Louis fans to Philly fans. They must be pretty bad in St. Louis especially when the Cards are the current WS Champions.

    Again, I must ask, have you been at more than one game in Philly which can justify your statement Philly fans are oblivious to being respectful?

    In closing your blog was well written and your opinions welI stated except for one IMO. I will be looking forward to reading more of your blogs and look forward to your reply to me. I will be reposting my reply to you on the AOL Cardinals message board.

    Ted

    • Tiss says:

      Ted
      I appreciate your feedback!! My comments about the Phillies are based on the reputation Phillies fans have as being some of the worst in sports. Also – yes I have been to several games in Philadelphia as well as both NY teams and many others – not just out east but all over the country. And in my experience, the Phillies fand were by far the most rude. I have not been to Fenway so I can’t compare them to Boston on that level, but I was actually pushed onto the ground, kicked and told (very colorfully) where I could go when a Philly fan found out I was rooting for the other team. And they weren’t the only people there to be unfriendly. In fact, I don’t think I can remember anyone at the ballpark who was friendly (at least not once they realized I wasn’t a Philly fan). And I have been to several games there. I am also a very friendly person and have a tendancy to make new friends everywhere I go, but this was not the case there. I do have friends there – who were raised there – and though they tend to be more friendly and silly with the trash talk, they are still a bit much at times, and extremely defensive. I apologize if I offended you – both comments were meant to induce a chuckle, because of the reputation Philly sports fans have, at least around here. (I’m a little confused tho, maybe I misunderstood something…You said “Your own blog compares St. Louis fans to Philly fans. They must be pretty bad in St. Louis…” To assume that this comparison makes things bad in StL suggests that you, too, think the fans are bad in Philly…just sayin!)
      Thanks again for reading!

      • Ted says:

        Thanks for the reply Tiss.

        I wish to clarify several of my points. The national media reputation which has been hung around the neck of Philly sports fans as a whole is IMO overblown and/or too narrowly placed. I see little difference between Philly fans and fans from Boston or NY.

        Having lived on both coasts and the mid-west, I feel comfortable characterizing baseball fans from the three areas.

        West Coast (WC) fans, many arrive late to the games, Many I met were not born/raised on the WC. The fans I met were very knowledgeable about the game. Seems most of those I met were from the mid-Atlantic area.

        Cardinal fans, 99% born and raised in Missouri or other surrounding states. Most of the fans as I remember are just like ma and pa. It’s a mid west thing. As far as I know, most St.Louis fans are also very knowledgeable about the game of baseball.

        East coast (Philly, NY and Boston) fans 99% born and raised in their greater metro areas. Most fans are very knowledgeabale, excitable, even raucous at times. They are extremely passionate about the game.

        Recalling my less than favorable jaunts to the ole ball park:

        – The Cards were in San Francisco perhaps 1990-91, I had my Cards hat on. I am walking through an aisle with my son when three Giants fans yelled at me “go back to the Mississippi River” “go back to St. Louis.” Perhaps they remembered the 1987 NL championship series. The jeering continued until I was out of sight.

        – Once at the Oakland-Alemeda Coliseum for an A’s game I saw a fight break out in the stands. I do not remember who the A’s were playing. Hopefully the fight was not over the game???

        – I loved my first trip to Yankee Stadium. Clemens was going for win 300 against the Cards. I was sitting row 9 behind the plate. I had some helpful fans who were sitting behind me direct me to the wrong train to get back to my hotel in Manhatten. I have no doubt it was done on purpose.

        Now back to Philly, Over the last 15-years I get jeers directed at me. I of course I wear my Cards hat at Philly games. I remember 1998-99 or so when a drunk fan walked up the asile stairs to me (I was seated next to my daughter, I had a Cards hat on). He stared at me and said “JD Drew sucks.” Ouch that hurts. Funny enough, this gentleman made a return trip back to me and repeated “JD Drew sucks.” I wasn’t sitting in the cheap seats. The Boston fans I encountered at Philly were terrible.

        Now I certainly can not compare my past negative experiences with what you had in Philly. That should never have happened. I am sorry to hear you were physically threatened at Citizens Bank Park. This type of fan I am sure can be found at any ball park in America. Unfortunatley, it happen to you twice in Philly.

        In closing Tiss, I can only say one should not generalize the actions of a few to reflect on the whole. Keep on writing.

        Ted

      • Tiss says:

        Again Ted, I apologize if I have offended you. I agree that the national reputation for Philly sports fans has probably been overblown, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is their reputation. St. Louis gets overlooked and underappreciated across the board in the eyes of the national media, and though I feel it’s wrong, it is what it is. (Losing Pujos certainly won’t help that cause) I used Philly’s reputation as a comparison to the the reputation of St. Louis fans, who are known for being extremely respectful of other fans. That’s not to say that you won’t find a few jackasses at Busch Stadium, just that we are known for a friendlier attitude, the same way Philly fans are known to be less than friendly. Add to that my experiences at Citizens Bank (and that I found nothing but friendly people in both NY stadiums, and again – have never been to Boston) and I just felt it was the best team to use in that scenario.

        To detail my experiences in Philly and in NY – when I was in Philly I had a had been dating a guy and had a good friend who both played for the opposing team. I was wearing nuetral colors, and since my boys’ team was in last place and the Phillies were in a pennant race with the Mets (late sept games) I didn’t have a preference in who won. I simply wanted to cheer on my boys. The fans there couldn’t even accept that, and as we wandered from field level near the visiting dugout, to the bleachers, to the upper deck, back down near the home dugout, it was difficult to find anyone who was even a little friendly. (Except the kid in the banana suit in LF. lol Strange kid, wearing the banana suit for Pat Burrell. I didn’t get it. Anyway he was nice, probably only about 12. His dad was a jackass though, telling his pre-teen kid to grab our asses, but banana boy didn’t want to and apologized to us for his dad. His mom must be doing something right!)
        Now in NY, I first went to a subway series game at Yankee stadium. My friend was a Mets reliever so while our seats were up high, we hung out near the visiting bullpen before the game. We met some people who said they had extra seats and we could stay. They were Yankees fans and we chatted with them the entire game. I did have on a Mets shirt and got some jeers, but nothing that wasn’t in good fun. One Yankees fan bought a round of beer for the whole group – including us.
        I went to a game at Shea Stadium the following year to see the Mets play against the Nationals – the team I was dating a guy from and had a friend on. Again I wore nuetral colors, and with friends on both sides I flip flopped throughout the game basically cheering for everyone lol. A few Mets fans gave us a hard time, but again – all in good fun. We actually sat next to a guy who’s friend was an usher at the park, and he got us free food and beer throughout the game. At one point I wandered off to find Mr. Met (I always try to find the mascot for a picture lol) and met a couple other Mets fans who spent 30 minutes running around with me trying to catch Mr. Met.
        Lastly, I have a friend who played for the Phillies in 2011 and will be back with them for 2012. He’s played for a long time and has been on several teams including the Mariners, Mets, and White Sox…and when I asked him about it, even he said that the Phillies fans were the worst he’s ever played in front of.

        I know both Philly and NY fans have bad reputations, maybe unfairly, but my NY fan experiences were very nice and my Philly ones not so much. (except that damn banana kid) So that’s why I chose Philly for the comment.

        Anyway, everything I write is just based on my thoughts and experiences. I am the kind of girl who holds the utmost respect for the game as well as its players and fans. It was meant to be a silly comparison based on their widely accepted reputations. Please don’t take it as a personal attack on Philly fans.


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