In having a conversation with a coworker about baseball, it seemed to me that maybe to those who don’t know me as well as others do may not know that I’m fanatical about baseball. Yes, the Giants are my team, but truth be told, I’ll watch baseball in any form. The end of the season is less than a couple of weeks away, and already I’m feeling the remorse of not having gone to any games this month. To the outside observer, I’m insane (apparently). But I’m just a really passionate fan. Baseball isn’t just a sport to me, it’s like a life philosophy at times. Life shares so many metaphors within baseball, because it is what it is; a linear game. Life’s just another baseball game. Some of us are staring down the first pitch, while others are in the late innings. We learn to judge pitches outside and inside the strike zone. Sometimes, we strike out. Sometimes, we launch it into the stands.
What got me started was someone taking me aside and asking me what was so great about Barry Bonds hitting 700 home runs. “It’s not like you hit 700 home runs or anything.” I just sat there for a moment, thinking about my response. So I said, “There are moments in history when people will stop and ask you where you were. Where were you when Challenger exploded? Where where you when you heard about 9/11? My mom used to talk about being asked where she was when she heard that Kennedy was assassinated. Between Giants fans, it’s always, where were you when Barry hit 500, 600, or 700? And none of those memories are traumatic or bad to have to recall where I was, because I love baseball. And those milestones are historic.” Sure, baseball has its bad memories, but more often than not, we look to baseball for trimuph than tragedy. We live and die by teams’ successes and failures, and those of us who’ve a broader perspective of the sport can appreciate the feats of individual players such as Barry Bonds approaching and surpassing legends of the game.
I could not care less if my fandom makes me unattractive, or if people who dislike baseball decide this is a dealbreaker for a friendship. I like what I like, and if you can’t accept that, then at least respect it. I don’t need everyone around me to love or even like baseball, but I do ask that they respect my perspective or agree to disagree. I don’t think it’s asking too much, and if it is, then don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.