It’s been a while since my last post. (Do I always start with that line?) Almost all of my blog posts are heated or heavy and since I neither like being hot nor feeling heavy I decided to shake things up a bit and go for the lighthearted route this time around. I do not know how well that will go. Consider yourself warned.
I have said “I hate baseball” at least 100 times in my little life. This one time however, 2 and a half years ago, my friend gave me tickets to an Iowa Cubs game. My husband was busy that night so I took all the kids thinking “Oh we are such cute Americans going to this baseball game.” I was doing it for the kids.
It could not have gone more poorly unless one of us had died. The kids had negative 10 interest in the game and I spent $30 on food even though we had eaten dinner at home beforehand. (Free tickets my booty!) I left covered in nacho sauce, dripping in sweat, and on the verge of swearing at people. THEN we let our boys play t-ball in this lahaaaaaame league which cost a small fortune and taught them nothing but made me feel similarly to how I felt after that Iowa Cubs game– week. after. week. Boy oh boy did that solidify my opinion of baseball.
(Here I told you this was going to be lighthearted, yet I’m ranting about my experience with baseball. The turn around is coming soon. Just stick with me!)
Fast forward to the 2016 World Series.
I’m proud to be an American, a Midwesterner, and Des Moines (home of the minor league farm team to the Chicago Cubs, mentioned previously as the Iowa Cubs) resident so I was happy to watch history be made. I didn’t want to miss out on what people would be talking about for decades. I started thinking, maybe I will give baseball another chance, for patriotism’s sake. I was soon energized by it all and I felt like THIS is how I should feel about baseball. The fact that the Cubs’ colors are red, white, and blue was a major bonus!
So just like that we have reason number one of why I’m jumping on the Cubs bandwagon: It’s borderline anti-American to bash America’s favorite pastime and geographically speaking the Chicago Cubs make the most sense for me.
1908. Second to last time the Cubs won the World Series. (The last time was a week ago.)
Guess what else happened in 1908? OUR HOUSE WAS BUILT.
I’m not superstitious but coincidences like that get me super pumped. By game 5 I was telling anyone who would listen the year I house was built. “Just remember,” I’d say. “Our house was built in 1908. We got this!” as if it had any bearing at all on whether or not they could clinch the series. It pumped me up though, and I got a few sympathy laughs in the process.
So, reason number two that I’m okay with bandwagoning the Cubs: 1908 means something to me AND to them.
Then you have the slo-mo in the major leagues. This is not available to the average high school, much less little league, teams. In my naïveté and pride, I have always viewed baseball players as “less athletic” than other professional players. They don’t have to run very far or for very long. It’s not that hard to hit a ball with a bat. No one is tackling them. Et cetera.
But when you watch baseball in slo-mo you are stunned at how much athleticism there is going on down on the field.
Balls thrown at 100mph (!) are very hard to hit! Stealing bases is very difficult because those bags are so darn little! Tagging someone out at second and then immediately afterward someone at first requires insane teamwork and precision and oftentimes stretching in very flexible ways!
And if you’re talking pressure, if you’re talking one wrong move by one person and the entire game can be lost- that’s baseball. It’s so intense!
And I didn’t realize any of this until 2016. My extremely late twenties…
So reason number three: slo-mo, specifically of the Cubs, gave me an appreciation for baseball I never had before and therefore I owe my allegiance to them in particular.
(I have never cheered for the Cubs before this year and they’ve never won a Series in my lifetime, so please excuse me if I feel like a bit of a good luck charm to them.)
We let our 6 year old boys stay up for game 7, which went on till 11:53pm. I do not for one second regret it and I hope they remember it their entire lives.
At the end of the game, one of them said while obviously recalling hearing me say “I hate baseball” in the past, “Mom, if I play baseball will you come to my games?”
Poor thing was concerned his mama might choose her unnecessarily strong aversion to baseball over supporting him in the sport.
When I replied with an emphatic, “I will be at every game I can possibly attend,” they both said, “Good, ’cause I love baseball.”
Reason number four: by being a Cubs fan, I open wide a window to my boys’ hearts. And if they love baseball, then by all means, I LOVE BASEBALL.