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    Baseball

    Date Submitted: April 17, 2012

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    Baseball...the game of life. I started watching baseball when I met my soon to be husband playing in college. I learned very quickly that there is so much to the game. After we had our third son, I began to envision that my nights and weekends would be at the ballpark. Between t-ball games, little league and high school baseball, I have watched and loved this great game. As a Boston Red Sox fan who someday hopes to go to Fenway and take in the smells of Boston Baseball, I will appreciate a game that has given back so much to me. Who knew that I would not only fall in love with a man, but also the great game of ball. I look forward to it every spring and love watching my own children grasp the love of the game.
    Baseball...the game of life. I started watching baseball when I met my soon to be husband playing in college ...

    — Terri Howell  Santa Clara, Utah

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    A memorable baseball moment

    Date Submitted: December 2, 2010

    I've been a baseball fan since my childhood growing up in Detriot Michigan and rooting for the "Tigers." When I joined the Navy I ended up moving to California where I met and married my lovely wife Sheila. today I have 3 beautiful daughters and my love continues for the Tigers. However I would like to share what I think was one of the most emotional baseball moments I have ever witnessed. It was at Dodger Stadium on the last day of the 2003 season when the Dodgers recognized a former player by the name of Roy Gleason. I learned that he had played briefly for the Dodgers and then later was sent to Veitnam and was seriously wounded. He received a Purple Heart for those injuries and his story was broadcast on a giant screen in the sold out stadium by Vin Scully. Vin introuduced Sgt Gleason and invited him to throw out the "Ceremonial First Pitch" and after doing so to a standing ovation of fans Vin asked the Dodger team to come on the field for a presentation which turned out to be a World Series Ring that Sgt Gleason had lost when he was wounded. We also learned that night that Sgt Gleason only batted once and hit a double before he was sent off to war. There were many tears shed that evening including mine and I will never forget how proud I was of the Dodgers and MLB for that night of recognition. It also made me proud of my Navy service and for all that are serving today to keep our Nation free. This is my most memorable baseball moment.
    I've been a baseball fan since my childhood growing up in Detriot Michigan and rooting for the "Tigers." When ...

    — Bob Fetkin  29538 Georgetown Ln Temecula, Ca 92591

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    Thanks for the memory Robin Yount!

    Date Submitted: November 23, 2010

    Image for Thanks for the memory Robin Yount!
    When my son was three, we started going to Reno Silver Sox games. They weren’t very good, but we started a tradition that year of picking a favorite player and following that player. This year we chose Joe Kmak. He was a catcher on his way out of professional baseball. Still we rooted and yelled and at the end of the year got an autographed baseball.

    And we kind off forgot about Joe Kmak. But miracle of miracles, he fought his way back up the ladder. He became a very serviceable catcher at AAA, playing for Denver and Iowa. And then he got his chance to play in the Majors with the Milwaukee Brewers. To top it all off, the number 1 catcher for Milwaukee was hurt for opening day. Joe Kmak would start.

    Milwaukee opened in Anaheim and then travelled to Oakland. Now Oakland was a 3 ½ hour drive and I thought about taking Joey to see the game. But Oakland was coming off a World Series win and it was opening day. I was sure tickets weren’t readily available. We decided we would not go.

    I was talking to my brother Jason Wednesday night and told him the story. “What if I can get you tickets?” he asked me. I wasn’t sure, but he said he would try. It seems that Jim Yount (brother to a famous major league player) was in his fantasy baseball league. He called him that night and left a message. Jason got a call back on Thursday from Jim saying he left Robin Yount a message. On Friday night (Joey was already in PJ’s) we got a call from by brother. Robin Yount had called his brother Jim and said he left two tickets for us at the players entrance. The game was tomorrow, it was the day before Easter, we would be leaving in less than 12 hours, did future Hall of famer Robin Yount really leave tickets, but it was fate and we decided to go any way.

    How cool was it to go up to the ticket box and say, “My name is Joe Elcano and Robin Yount has left me two tickets.” There they were and we walked in. Kmak was warming up the pitcher, so we went down to the bullpen to watch. It was so cool to see our first baseball hero in a major league park!

    We eventually worked our way to our seats and sat down. We were ready for the announcement of the starting line ups. We were ready to cheer for our favorite player – even if we would be the only ones. “Batting eighth and catching, Joe Kmak!” But the roar around us was deafening. What was going on? I turned to the person I was sitting next to and asked why she was rooting for Joe Kmak? She was his mother. His father was there. So was his brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nephews, and nieces. It seems he was a bay area boy and his entire family came out to see him play in Oakland.

    I don’t remember much about the game. I do remember that Ricky Henderson never tried to steal off him. But I do remember yelling and screaming for Joe with his family and friends. And I think as fun as it was for us to sit in the stands with Joe Kmak's family, they were equally as excited that two people from Reno would make the trip to see their favorite baseball player - and that player was Joe Kmak?

    Now I have been to some great games, but this is the one I will remember the most. I have to admit, I wasn’t too excited driving up to Oakland at the last minute and early in the morning. But picking up the tickets, seeing Joe Kmak on a major league infield, talking to his family made the trip home fly by. What a special memory I share with my son. What a special memory I keep in my heart!

    Whenever I think of this story, I just think how ironic it was that we got tickets from Robin Yount to go see Joe Kmak play baseball. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
    When my son was three, we started going to Reno Silver Sox games. They weren’t very good, but we ...

    — Joe Elcano  Sparks, Nevada

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    Doris Kearns Goodwin

    Date Submitted: November 18, 2010

    I remember as a child playing outside and hearing the radio and the sounds of the Red Sox or the Boston Braves playing baseball. My mother was a Braves fan and my father a Red Sox fan. Wait 'til next year was a mantra heard over and over in those years. It wasn't until 2003 and their loss in the playoffs that it really hit home. Our 3rd son was totally wrapped up in the Sox and he was heartbroken. At that point I became more interested in really watching and learning about the game. The Tenth Inning was pure pleasure. Listening to Doris Kearns Goodwin saying how she can't watch the opposing team at bat and she is nervous validates my own feelings. I thought I was the supreme neurotic because I feel if I leave the room when the opposition is batting I am somehow putting some cosmic whammy on Boston. When they win, euphoria and conversely when they lose, depression. I manage a thrift shop on the Cape and my staff of elderly volunteers are very much into the Red Sox and I pity any poor Yankee fan who happens to stop in while on vacation. While discussing the different players a couple of years ago the subject of their appeal came up. Naturally, Jason Varitek's name was mentioned and he was suitably complimented with one of the ladies saying "all I would like is just one dance with him." Sounds good to me. Thanks for allowing me to ramble. April will be here before long.
    I remember as a child playing outside and hearing the radio and the sounds of the Red Sox or the ...

    — Paula Deane  Sandwich, MA

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    My Love For Baseball

    Date Submitted: November 16, 2010

    My parents took me to my first big league game when I was nine years old in July of 1987 in Atlanta - - Braves v. Astros. From that moment on I have loved the game. It connected my brother and I with our Dad and Grandfather who would tell us stories about the players they followed as kids and family vacations revolved around trips to Atlanta (so I could see the Braves who were my favorite team until the Rays came to Tampa Bay) or Baltmore so my brother could see the Orioles, his favorite team.

    When life is stressful and the demands

    Now that we have grown up and my brother has moved away we plan a baseball trip each summer. The planning for these trips begins each winter when the schedule comes out for next season but it really doesn't matter where we go because it is time spent together watching the game we love.

    I have a seven week old son and last night as I was feeding him his bottle I was watching the Tenth Inning. I realized that I now have the chance to pass on the love of this game to him. My brother and I have already talked that when he is old enough, he will join us on our summer venture to a ballpark somewhere. He already stops crying when I sing him Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
    My parents took me to my first big league game when I was nine years old in July of 1987 ...

    — Scott Givens  Brandon, Florida

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    Bosox Love

    Date Submitted: November 16, 2010

    I remember the first time my dad took me to Fenway park. I was ten, and he told me I was the son he never had. I will never forget the first time seeing it in person. It always looked so huge on TV, but when we finally walked up to our seats I realized it wasn't as big as my mind's eye had pictured it.
    The sounds, the smells, the vendors, the fans, the music.....and most importantly, the game. All my faves right there in front of me. Yaz, he was the man, the guy, the one I watched for and smiled in my heart. The quiet man, no big grandstanding actions, just hit and run and score. Much like my Dad, he was. An unassuming hero.
    Every year after my first visit, we went back to the park. I saw Ted Williams play in an old timers game,and my Dad held my hand and he cried. On a trip home I saw Clemens pitch his record breaking strike outs as fans in the bleachers put the "K's" up. Every year,during spring training, Dad uttered the immortal words that all Red Sox Fans speak..."maybe this is the year". But year, after year it was never "the year". We always came so close. Fisk pushed that ball magically over the wall....Buckner almost had it, but it went through his legs.....When would the agony end.
    In 1984 I moved away to Alberta Canada. Seeing a Red Sox game up here, was almost impossible. I would follow them online, and call my Dad and talk about the games, but it wasn't the same as sitting next to him on the couch in the den and watching it together. Every two years, I would get home to visit, and I always planned my trip around a home game.
    Then, I had my two boys, and we started bringing them to Fenway when we would go home. They would sit in their seats with their gloves in hand, because Grampie told them, always keep your eye on the ball, you never know when you can catch a foul.
    He explained it all, the game, the passion for it, just as he did to me. I saw them grow to love it, as I had, because back home they didn't have anything like that to admire, to hope for, to dream of, that was as big as the Red Sox winning the World Series.

    I will never forget 2004. Many phone chats to my dad. They were up, they were down, then they regained speed. Next thing we knew, they were in the playoffs against those damned Yankees. It was like fear was telling us to not get our hopes up, but the true Red Sox Fan always has that faint glimmer that "this will be the year".
    I painstakingly watched every second of those 7 games, and my phone calls to my Dad were getting more frequent, the more we won. By the time it was over, I could have dialed that number in my sleep.
    The night they won the Division, was incredible. I cried, Dad cried, my boys cried. Three phones, two countries united all connected by one love. Our Red Sox.
    I had to work during the World Series, but still was able to sneak a call in to Dad as I got to hear the score, and sneak a peek at the game on the TV at work. No one here understood my love, my fanaticism, my extreme soul wrenching, heart stopping LOVE for this team and what I was seeing.
    Game four, and they win...I was at work, I was jumping up and down like a madwoman, and I was alone. I called Dad, it was the only thing to do. He picked up the phone, crying and sobbing, and he said "I knew it was you...Lisa....they finally did it, I can die in peace".
    Sadly, a year and a half later, he did just that. We buried him with a Red Sox World series banner, draped across his chest. I smiled knowing, that he got to see it. I cried knowing I would never watch another game with him again.
    I still visit Fenway, when I go home. I still remember every moment there, I still bring my boys and hold them close to me, and we always speak of my Dad and how he taught us that its right to love something so strongly and so true, and there is no bigger love than our love of the Red Sox.
    Thanks Dad for all you gave us, and thanks Mr Burns for the beautiful baseball stories, that touch all our souls.
    I remember the first time my dad took me to Fenway park. I was ten, and he told me I ...

    — Lisa  Edmonton, Alberta Canada

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    Why I'm a Yankee

    Date Submitted: November 9, 2010

    When I was about 4yrs old shortly after my parents got divorced my grandmother came out from Conn. to CA to live with us to help out because she felt guilty that her son left my mother and 4 kids. She lived most of her life in NY City raising 7 kids on her own, and that's where my parents met. I was born not to far in Conn. She felt it was necessary to give me an outlet and so she bought me and my brother a cheep used mit and a baseball. She played catch with us and told me stories about Babe Ruth and the Yankees and I was in awe like reading a comic book of superman. The story of The Babe hitting a ball with a wooden stick so far and so often was incredible to me at the time...almost impossible. I wanted to be a Yankee.
    When I was about 4yrs old shortly after my parents got divorced my grandmother came out from Conn. to CA ...

    — Lawrence DeSantis Jr.  San Jose, CA

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    Mike O'Connor

    Omaha Nebraska

    November 18, 2010

    ->

    In reply to Lawrence DeSantis Jr.:

    My name is Mike O'Connor, I was born on the year that the Omaha ballpark was built, 1948, at St. Joe's. The first time I got to go to the ballpark was with my Dad. He loved my Mom, and he loved his boys, all four of us, and he loved, baseball. He said that it was like life, you get out of it what you put into it, hard work has it's own reward, if you have experienced it, you know what I'm talking about. I was 8 years old, sitting in the back seat of a '56 Chevy going down "L" street, from our house in Ralston. The left lane was the only lane for cars, because the right lane was an endless percession of cattle trucks going to the stock yards. My Dad didn't talk alot during the trip to the game, but always kept a watchful eye, that the windows on the right side were rolled-up tight, just in case. Once we were at the ballpark, my older brothers were in a constant argument about who was the best, this player or that, hits, RBI's, and homers. My main focus was to hold on to the rear pocket of the greatest man who ever lived. I remmber one trip to the park, when a boy, about my age, with worn pants and nothing but a passion for baseball pushed his way between me and my Dad and asked, "hey mister, can you get me in? The man at the ticket booth said, how many, and my Dad looked down and said, will, I guess I'll need one adult and 4 kids tonight. It didn't take long for our new brother to disappear, once inside, but he did wave good-bye and said thanks, Mister. When you step into the stadium, the rest of the world, gets very quiet. All you can hear now is the sounds of this awesome thing, called baseball. The vendors, the players, the "crack" of the bat, the cheers and the boooooos. We yelled so loud for the Cards, we couldn't talk the next day. That was our team, I still have and cherish autographs from the greats, Stan "the man" Musil, Eddy Matthews, the Boyer brothers, and could forget the great Bob Gibson. I can still smell the hotdogs, beer and those White Owl cigars that my Dad would smoke and pass out freely to the other Dads, sitting next to us in the stands. This stadium and what it's given me is something that will never die. There are no words to describe what happens to an eight year-olds heart, when he hears and sees his very first "home-run", live, right before his eyes, eyes as big and bright as silver dollars. When you take into consideration the joy and emotions that were expressed and created in this place, called Rosenblatt, it's hard sometimes to think, that it's not a living thing, that welcomes you ever game day with sounds,smells and colors that are none existant ANYWHERE else. As you walk to your car and talk about the game, you can almost hear it say, thanks for comin'. No, Rosenblatt, Thank You, You're the Best

    God Bless all of you that keep it going

    Yours very truly, R. Michael O'Connor
    Ralston High School Class of '66



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  8. +

    The Giants Win! The Giants Win!

    Date Submitted: November 9, 2010

    Image for The Giants Win! The Giants Win!
    It has been 50 or so years since the Giants won a World Series. They had not (until this year) won a World Series in San Francisco.

    I was on Montgomery Street while the World Series Champion Giants paraded past. This is same route the Giants took when the moved from New York in '58. They turned right and west onto Market Street. The sidewalks were 4 or 5 five deep on the narrow sidewalks of Montgomery. Someone told me that it was 15 deep on the wider Market Street. When all of Giants, their families and staff past me on Montgomery I made mad a mad dash to Civic Center Plaza. It was mad because I could hardly move with the the sidewalks crowded. It was so crowded that they had to close the Montgomery MUNI Station. Finally it opened and I made it Civic Center Plaza. It was so crowded that people were standing on the traffic light poles. I was so very happy to have experienced this special day with the people, the City by Bay and San Francisco Giants. It made me love this city even more.
    It has been 50 or so years since the Giants won a World Series. They had not (until this year ...

    — Robert Goins  San Francisco, CA

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    How I became a Giants Fan

    Date Submitted: November 6, 2010

    I watched the 1962 season on my crystal radio. That July I got a build it yourself radio set for my birthday. I would listen to the Dodger broadcasts by scratching the stylus on the crystal till I found the unforgettable voice, Vin Skully.

    Living in Phoenix, my family was Dodger fans since there was no local team. All my friends played baseball and we were all avid baseball card traders. Everyone thought the Yankees were the greatest, but our National league team was the Dodgers. On the weekends, the family would always watch Koufax games whenever he came on. My dad and brother both said he was the greatest pitcher ever.

    One night I was laying I my bed for the start of the game and heard Skully talking about Candlestick Park. Well, next to baseball, birthday cake was one of my favorite things. And you know how as a kid, your imagination really takes hold. The Dodgers were a great team that year but that summer, Koufax was hurt and not pitching well. And the Giants had Willie Mays and late that summer I found myself routing for the Say Hey Kid to beat the Dodgers at the most amazing place I ever heard, Candlestick Park!

    Both teams were formidable that year and when the tie breaking playoff came I was there with my crystal radio with its little ear piece. The drama was unreal and I kept finding myself pulling for San Francisco. I dreamt away hours thinking I lived walking distance to the birthday cake stadium with its sparking candle like lights and party atmosphere. And I began to think it would be cool to see these Giants face the ultimate test....against the Yankees; Whitey Ford and all those guys. I actually hate the Yankees, because they are an American League team and I hate the American League!

    So when they beat the Dodgers, I was hooked. And that was the beginning of my first feelings of loss and sadness when they lost to New York.

    I moved to the Bay Area in the 70s, went to amazing games at Candelstick in the 80s with the 49ers and the Giants....saw the Will Clark era w/ Thompson, Uribe and Cgaig at the helm. Saw the Niners win awesome championship and Monday night games there. I watched those brutal 2 games in Saint Louis on the radio too. My sense of loss had progressed to a sick feeling.
    In the 90's the team was good but the Bonds trade was historical. He was the best player in 1993 I ever saw in person, before or since. Then, there was the sense of sadness again when the rumors started circulating. and when the Chris Rock looking Barry became the Popeye looking Barry, that sense of loss and sadness were back and punctuated in 2002. I almost lost hope.
    Finally this year, after hours of Kruc and Kuipe and how many innings with Lincecum and Cain. I watched the playoffs on my car radio mostly and then a winning World Series.
    I watched the 1962 season on my crystal radio. That July I got a build it yourself radio set for ...

    — Tim Sterling  Monterey Bay

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  10. +

    Banner Days

    Date Submitted: October 19, 2010

    From about 1998, I honed my computer-arts skills by making and then displaying banners at Yankee Stadium. I was thrilled to see my "MYSTIQUE DON'T FAIL ME NOW" sign from the 2003 "Aaron Boone" game in Burns' "The 10th Inning". That banner was actually a sequel to an also "famous" sign from Game 5 of the 2001 World Series. Some may remember then Diamondback's Curt Shilling's boast that Yankee "Mystique & Aura" sounded like the names of Go-Go dancers. After 2 near-impossible comebacks in Games 3 & 4,a banner with the words "MYSTIQUE & AURA APPEARING NITELY",
    proved prophetic for Scott Broscious & Byung-Yung Kim.
    From about 1998, I honed my computer-arts skills by making and then displaying banners at Yankee Stadium. I was thrilled ...

    — Nick Russo  Rutherford, NJ

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  11. +

    coming to terms with my mortality.

    Date Submitted: October 10, 2010

    boy, i don't know if i can fit it in 8k characters, but here goes. i got divorced when my oldest kids were about 8, twin girls, and two younger boys. causing some financial grief. but i still wanted to share my love for my beloved detroit tigers so i figured that we should become "bleacher creatures" not because i wanted to but because that's what i could afford. some of my fondest memories was taking my family to tiger games at old tiger stadium, and the center field bleachers became our hangout, even though it was only maybe half a dozen games a year. the bleacher became sort of a playground because the kids could roam all over and didn't have to be confined to their seats. what a great view! all these new stadiums have to have these black backdrops in center field so the hitters can see the ball better, but i think they were the best seats in the house. you could really see the break in the curve, the slide in the slider, the spit in the spitter(oops, i digress). the place when one morning i said to the kids "hey the tigers are in town", hopping in the escort wagon, getting to the stadium, realizing as i buy the last bleacher seats, that it's bat day AND nolan ryan is pitching for the rangers. did i mention it's a 2 hour drive? or the time on father's day where i was supposed to be going to see my dad, but the kids wanted to go to the game instead, and seeing george brett hit a homer over the right field roof, and not being able to tell my dad because i came with some excuse for not being able to go see him. then came comerica park, and it's sooooo not the same. comerica is a "nice" park but it's so, how do i say it, it's not a BALL PARK. it's a place where the tigers play ball, but not a ball park. when you walked into tiger stadium, and you saw all that green, on the field, int the stands, you knew you where in a ball park. a place where you could take your family and not spend a couple hundred bucks. i still go there with my kids sporadically, but of course it's not the same. i try to go there with my daughter as much as i can, but i have to admit i've been a little (ok, a lot) selfish, trying to hang on to the old times i had with her. after watching this part of the documentary, i realize i have to share these times with my grandkids too and stop dragging my feet to hang onto the past. thanks for letting me vent a little.
    boy, i don't know if i can fit it in 8k characters, but here goes. i got divorced when ...

    — Pat Clarey  

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  12. +

    A Democractic Game

    Date Submitted: October 10, 2010

    Look at a map of the United States, and you'll see big states and little states, square edge states and crooked states. It’s just like baseball. Everybody can play, regardless of size. When I was a kid playing sandlot baseball, in Old Man Kosterman’s vacant lot, 1956-1959, the game lasted pretty much from early June to late August. Each day’s subgame started with a bat toss to pick sides. This time tested ritual allowed for parity, as the big kids played out the dance. A tossed the bat to B, who caught it with a confidant grin, and offered it back to the opponent. From there it went hand over hand to the knob of the bat, where in a last ditch effort, ‘eagle claws’ might be invoked. Since the point was to run out of bat, this occasionally resulted in first pick, but only after all affected players weighed in on if all five fingers were in truth under the knob and touching wood. Like the Congress in session, this drama was subject to arm wrangling, bribes, and intimidation. To the winner went the spoils, first pick. That was followed by next best, an almost a first pick, and so on, down the line. At some point little kids, kids with no glove, occasional girls, were assigned a team. It ended up essentially a body count, which could on occasion amount to a dozen players on a side, all of whom would not only field but bat in an order determined and maintained without an adult in earshot. But out of chaos came balance, since not only were the teams picked in a democratically fair process, but they each were required to not only field, but bat each player. This may seem unfair and preordained, but don’t look at this summer long exercise in patience and ritual through the lens of today’s adult managed sports. Because in a culture that had grandparents who didn’t speak English, on a field full of gopher holes with bases of tarpaper and a backstop made of chickenwire, everybody got a chance at the plate. And a chance meant accommodation. The pitcher’s mound was not an absolute, but a balance point between skill and experience. That first round pick faced the pitcher all the way back, and he would pick up the 2X4 ‘rubber’ and place it down in the grass where he felt confident. As he progressed through the order, the board might move forward or out, depending on all the variables that make baseball addictive. There were even occasions, occasional and exceptional and subject to intense debate, where the pitcher pitched underhand to a special situation. At some point, maybe with the shrill blast on the mill’s whistle, or the rumble of thunder, the game would pause, and somebody might scratch the score in the dirt. All we knew is that tomorrow we would meet up in the morning, play catch till we had enough players, pick sides, and do it again. The afternoons might find us swimming, or out in the woods. But the best part of the day belonged to baseball, and the lessons learned last through the decades.
    Look at a map of the United States, and you'll see big states and little states, square edge states ...

    — Mike Faber  Essex Junction

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  13. +

    1995 Yankees Wildcard

    Date Submitted: October 10, 2010

    In 1994, I felt that Baseball didn't care about the fans. NO WORLD SERIES?! I was so angry.

    I grew up on Long Island. My parents were from Brooklyn, so we grew up as Met fans. We disliked the Yanks like most everyone else in the world. Hated Steinbrenner, Reggle Jackson, Billy Martin, etc (we did love Yogi for obvious reasons). I had probably gone to Yankee Stadium five or six times, whenever someone had free tickets and was willing to drive all the way to the Bronx (Flushing was so much closer, and who in their right mind would voluntarily drive on the Cross Bronx).

    In the Spring of 1995, I didn't care. I concentrated on basketball, and ignored the boxscores.

    I was practicing law for a small firm done on Maiden Lane, and it just so happened that a bunch of our Bronx County cases were ready for trial. So, twice a week, I would catch the No. 4, take it to the River Ave station (Yankee Stadium), and walk up the hill to the courthouse.

    For those unfamiliar with the No.4,it runsunderground until about a block before the old stadium. You spend about a half hour in darkness until, you would pop out into the daylight, where the first thing you would see was the stands, arches, and a glimpse of the green field.

    The train would let you off just outside the old Stadium, where on gamedays the scalpers and venders were getting set up for the eventual groups of fans.

    So, two maybe three days a week, I made this trip. The first few times, I pretended not to notice where I was. It also helped that a lot of people felt the same way I did, and kept away from the baseball as long as they could.

    The Yanks, however, were good. For the first time in I don't know how many years they were actually winning. As the summer wore on, more and more people on the train were wearing Yankee regalia. I saw folks lining up at the box office. The vendors and scalpers were actually busy.

    A few of my die hard Yankee fan friends found out that I was spending so much time near the Stadium and asked me to get tickets. It was their belief that one could get tickets cheaper at the Stadium than at Ticketmaster (Ticketron?), so they would gather up the cash and tell me where they wanted to sit.

    By the middle of August I was hooked. I bought myself a ticket each time, and we all would meet at the Bat. We caught about a third of Mid August through September home games. The Yanks won the first wild card.

    We caught the ALDS game where Jim Leyritz hit that homer to beat the Mariners.

    Thanks to the 1995 Yankees, I became and still am a baseball fan.
    In 1994, I felt that Baseball didn't care about the fans. NO WORLD SERIES?! I was so angry.

    I ...

    — Jim Jackson  Seattle, WA

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  14. +

    Baseball art

    Date Submitted: October 9, 2010

    Image for Baseball art
    I grew up by Wrigley and could hear the day games in the spring, the sounds of the ballpark waft into the classroom with the warm spring breeze, torture for us kids but during the world series TV sets were rolled into the classrooms and all bets were off.....I am now an artist and long suffering bleacher bum. I have attended approximately 400 games since 88 and have painted 30 portraits in the last ten years. Burns images have inspired me since the series originally aired
    I grew up by Wrigley and could hear the day games in the spring, the sounds of the ballpark waft ...

    — Lawrence Margaret  Chicago

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  15. +

    Centerfield

    Date Submitted: October 4, 2010

    I remember several years ago, my mom, my brother and I would go to a Royals game at Kauffman Stadium. I had a good time. They had great food and drinks. Some day, I'll go to a Royals game and see those boys in blue win.
    I remember several years ago, my mom, my brother and I would go to a Royals game at Kauffman Stadium ...

    — Caleb Rogers  Pleasant Hill, Missouri

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  16. +

    I miss the Expos...

    Date Submitted: October 4, 2010

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    I remember when I was a kid, late 70's, probably 10 - 11 years old. When school was over, my brother, 3 - 4 friends and I would go to the local ballpark, every single day, at 8AM and play 3 against 3. We all wanted to be Gary Carter or Andre Dawson. Growing up in Quebec City, I was lucky enough to have an uncle and an aunt who were living in Montreal; we'd visit them twice each summer, going to the Olympic Stadium to see my heroes of those days.

    Being photographed with the team mascot, Youppi!, was as important to us as being there watching the game. I don't remember a saturday game where the audience was under 35,000 . I do remember some over 42,000, even 45,000.

    We always had a heartbreaking team, always finishing second by only a couple of games. I certainly will never forget october 19, 1981 and Rick Monday. What a way to end a season...

    Many, many years later, in 2000, I moved to Montreal to begin my professional career. I tried to go to the Stadium as often as I could. What a pitty it was to see attendances declining all these years. I couldn't help to look at the score board, with a sigh, remembering what it was like back in the days.

    My loving baseball club has gone for more that 6 years now. It is a shame that we had to endure all these excuses about losing a team because we didn't have a brand new stadium downtown. Because nobody wanted to go the Olympic Stadium anymore.

    I wanted to go there all the time.

    I still do.
    I remember when I was a kid, late 70's, probably 10 - 11 years old. When school was over, my ...

    — Paul Belanger  Montreal, Canada

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    Patrick Butler

    Texas

    November 15, 2010

    ->

    In reply to Paul Belanger:

    I met Roger Maris in the tunnel at Yankee Stadium when I was a kid, the year Mantle and Maris were going for 61. It was well before batting practice started. My mom knew a publicist for the team and he got us in. Maris, bigger than life to me, was angry that day, yelling at some guy in the tunnel when I handed him a ball to sign. He signed it in a hurry, still yelling, and never looked at me. I want to thank Mr. Maris, may he rest in peace, for signing the ball instead of pushing me away, but when I lost the ball in a move to Los Angeles two years later, going into the 8th grade, I didn't miss it much. I became a Dodgers fan - after all, they were from New York.
    Miss the ball now though. I have fond memories of the New York teams; Casey Stengle and the Amazing Mets. Yogi, Roger, Mickey, Moose, Whitey, Elston...Roger and the race to 61. I'm 58 now.

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  17. +

    Baseball and my life

    Date Submitted: October 4, 2010

    I played baseball as a kid, I fell in love with the game in the 1979 World Series with Willie Stargell and the Pittsburgh Pirates. After that I became a fan of the Houston Astros because of our native player Jose Cruz played there. I can say that I took something from my bucket list when three generations my father, me, and my nephew went to the 2005 NLCS Astros vs Cardinals. Seen Pujols silence the crowd right after Berkman make the crowd to have the emotions that I never forget. I love baseball specially in October.
    I played baseball as a kid, I fell in love with the game in the 1979 World Series with Willie ...

    — Antonio Lebron  San Juan, Puerto Rico

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  18. +

    My glove

    Date Submitted: October 3, 2010

    When I watched the segment with Mike Barnicle talking about his gloves, I got chills. My wife Monica and I have two kids, Ryan 18 and Erica 16, and I have told both kids many, many times, there is one thing you can never, ever do...and that is lose your glove! I helped found Mid-Iowa Men's Adult and Senior Baseball League in Des Moines in 1995, and shortly after the inception of the league, I was interviewed by the Des Moines Register. I was quoted in that article, "I pick up my glove and smell it, and suddenly I am 10 years old again". This is so true. Like in the movie Field of Dreams, it reminds us of what once was good, and can be again...

    A day does not go by that I don't think about Mr. Burns' documentary, and the lessons baseball teaches us. Thank you! Tim
    When I watched the segment with Mike Barnicle talking about his gloves, I got chills. My wife Monica and I ...

    — Tim Kirgan  Ankeny, Iowa

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  19. +

    White Sox treasure for a Cub fan

    Date Submitted: October 3, 2010

    Mom taught me baseball and love of the Cubs, but my favorite memory is going to a White Sox game with my Dad. It was 1960 and I was almost 10. After the game ended, Dad carried me and my crutches through the crowd (I had polio) to the men's room. While I went inside, Dad waited by the door and a man came up to him and asked him to wait while he got a baseball for me. He quickly returned and gave a ball to Dad for me. The man's name was Jim Rivera - outfielder for the Sox, including their 1959 pennant-winning team.

    About 12 or so years ago, I got in touch with Mr. Rivera and sent the ball to him, telling him the story and asking for him to sign it. He graciously did and sent it back to me. I am now 60, and after 50 years that ball is still one of my greatest personal treasures.
    Mom taught me baseball and love of the Cubs, but my favorite memory is going to a White Sox game ...

    — Michael Odle  Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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    Chip Zimmer

    Hagerstown, MD

    October 4, 2010

    ->

    In reply to Michael Odle:

    Great story Michael! I grew up in Calumet City as a Sox fan and later became a Cubs fan. We're about the same age and I vividly remember the ChiSox '59 World Series with Jungle Jim Rivera. I especially remember the home run ball that was hit over Al Smith's head and the fan was so engrossed in the ball, he dumped his beer down Al's neck!
    Thanks for the memory!

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    Michael Odle

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    October 4, 2010

     ->

    In reply to Chip Zimmer:

    Thanks, Chip. That's a pretty hilarious story! I should tell you there was a "prequel" to my story.

    In 1959 during the World Series, I was at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago for back surgery. One of the boys in the ward had been a batboy for the White Sox. I don't remember his name, but several players from the Sox came to our hospital ward to visit him. There were about 8 or 10 of us in the ward, and the Sox players stopped and visited with each and every one of us. I'm sorry I don't remember which players they were (I wasn't in good shape at the time), but it was a wonderful thing for them to do. I remained a Cubs fan, but followed the Sox for several years after that too - especially Nellie Fox, Louis Aparacio, and my personal hero - Jim Rivera.

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  20. +

    The Green Weenie

    Date Submitted: October 2, 2010

    Growing up on Chicago's Southside in thr 50's, I became a fan of the Go-Go Sox and can still name the starting line up of the '59 AL Champs. But following that year, we moved to Maryland. Dad took me to games at Griffith Stadium in DC, Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and to Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. Sometime in about 1964, we went to Pittsburgh to see the Cubs play the Pirates. Although a Sox fan, the Cubs were my NL favorite. The Pirates had a promotion that was pushed by announcer Bob Prince and the radio station, where Green Weenies (green hot dog shaped rattles) were given out and shaken at opposing players to put a hex on them.

    I remember Ron Santo coming to bat against Elroy Face. Santo stepped out of the box, reached into his hip pocket and retreived a Green Weenie. He shook it at Face and promptly stepped into the box and hit the next pitch over the left field wall!

    Some 25 years later, I had the chance to meet and talk with Santo and brought up this story. To my surprise he not only remembered it, but told me the count and what pitch Face threw that he hit out of the park! I don't know if he actually remembered it or just made it up, but it was a thrill to hear him retell my childhood memory!
    Growing up on Chicago's Southside in thr 50's, I became a fan of the Go-Go Sox and can ...

    — Chip Zimmer  Hagerstown, MD

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    Craig

    CT

    December 3, 2010

    ->

    In reply to Chip Zimmer:

    Chip - I too was at the "Green Weenie Giveaway Day" game sponsored by Heinz pickles. We Pirates fans were handed green plastic pickles with little beads which we were supposed to shake at the Cubs. Ron Santo one-upped everyone in the first inning by pulling a Green Weenie out of his back pocket turning towards the mound and shaking it at Elroy Face. The Pirate fans exploded in laughter. I never before heard laughter such as that in a major league baseball park. When Santo connected the place erupted in applause. You remember it as a home run. My memory is that it was a hard single up the middle (and that Santo carried the Weenie around the bases in his back pocket). I thought he homered in a later at bat. Your memory probably beats mine. Ron Santo won the hearts of Pirate fans that day. I think the game ended on a bases loaded triple by Matty Alou. I eventually moved to Chicago and became both a Cubs and White Sox fan. One not born in Chi-town can root for both teams. Santo was a great talent and, as illustrated by the Green Weenie game, had a great sense of humor too.

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