My Love Affair With Baseball

TBT of another kind... As I gear up for the release date of CALLED UP (25 days away, but who's counting?), I thought I'd share this post that I wrote back in April for the Carina Press blog. Here goes:

There’s something about baseball that has always appealed to me. The crisp green grass, the crack of the bat, the way those baseball pants fit so well…

Buster-PoseyBaseball pants aside, some of my most vivid memories revolve around baseball, starting when the Red Sox and Yankees played the AL East tie-breaker in 1978, my parents and their friends cheering as they crowded around our tiny little TV.

Baseball was always a part of our life growing up. My mom came from a Brooklyn Dodgers family—the family legend is that her uncle moved to L.A. specifically to express his displeasure from the stands of Dodger Stadium. My dad, on the other hand, was a Yankees fan through and through, raising his three daughters to be the same.

Ron Guidry and Bucky Dent were my first celebrity crushes (just barely inching out Mark Harmon in his 240-Robert days), but it was Thurman Munson who I truly fell in love with. Despite the awards he racked up—Rookie of the Year, three-time Gold Glove Award, and seven-time All-Star, just to name a few—his being the first Team Captain since Lou Gehrig was what truly hooked me. The respect of teammates and management alike spoke to me not just of his talent, but of his humility and love for the game and for his team.

Despite this history, in real life, I managed to fall in love with a Red Sox fan. Although his allegiances weren’t unexpected—my husband grew up in Boston, after all—it came as a blow to my family. And I had no intention of converting.

Sure, we moved to Boston. Sure, we went to Fenway Park regularly. But me, a Sox fan? No way.

Flash forward to 2003. On that fateful October night, as I watched Aaron Boone hit his walk-off home-run and felt that bone-crushing disappointment, I realized I’d succumbed. Because I, like the rest of Red Sox Nation, had believed that maybe this time they would win.

IMG_5936They didn’t; not that night. But the Red Sox of 2004 were an entirely different ballgame. (Yes, I went there.) Damon, Lowe, Ortiz… Although the list goes on, it wasn’t any one individual—it was the team. It was everything baseball should be.

And on that October night when the Red Sox beat the Yankees in their historic win—when my dad called my husband and their conversation was the very definition of sportsmanship—I realized I’ve been blessed to have these men I love up close and the men I love from afar. And that writing CALLING IT gave me the chance to put my love affair into words.

How about you? Is it the crack of the bat that gets your heart racing? The pants? Do tell…

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