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    Saturday, September 20th, 2008.

    Date Submitted: September 28, 2010

    Baseball has been with me my whole life. I'm 27 now, living in NYC. I have one memory of my greatest day of baseball, but so many others. My second MLB game was Derek Jeter's first playoff game. I remember at that game promising myself that I would become successful in my life before he retired (coming too quick). This game was one year after my first game, Don Mattingly's first playoff game. I also still vividly remember watching McGwire hit number 62 under the K sign while I sit on the floor eating microwave pasta in my parents living room.

    And while those previously mentioned memories are amazing, as were many other incredible moments, I have one greatest baseball day. Saturday, September 20th 2008.

    When tickets went on sale that spring, I wanted to get tickets to a Yankee V. Baltimore game, my dad had grown up an Oriole fan because when he grew up they were the minor league farm team in our home town of Elmira NY. I also wanted to be sure to bring my Mom, and my dad's good friend Joe, a die hard Yankee fan who had brought me to my first Yankee games over a decade ago. The Stadium was in its last year and my dad had never been to the Stadium, and I'd never been able to say thank you to his friend for bringing me to games. So, as a poor young New Yorker I still got tickets to the second to last day of the season. But...

    That same summer I moved to NYC and signed up to be a Baseball coach for the Queens Bridge YMCA. I was co-coach of "The Bombers." We had one kid, Darrel, who didn't know the rules. He didn't even know he had to touch the bases when rounding them. All the kids road him all year. But he worked so hard all year.
    And as fate would have it, the day I was to meet my parents for the early Yankee game, my little Bombers would reach the championship and of course, go to extra innings.

    In the 10th inning, Darrel, one of the nicest kids you'll ever meet, came to the plate and smacked the game winning double. As he stood on second, he raised his hands in victory and gave the biggest smile ive ever seen. Every kid and parent chanted his name and he even got in the local paper.

    Thanks to extra innings, I rushed to meet my family at the Stadium. And while my dad is a Baltimore fan, I think he's a bigger Sinatra fan. Because when Jason Giambi hit a walk off hit and "New York, New York" played, the stadium roared, I saw pure joy in my fathers eyes. Something a tough guy like him never showed.

    Being able to see the pure joy in both Darrel's eyes and my fathers eyes that day is a feeling that only baseball could ever create.
    Baseball has been with me my whole life. I'm 27 now, living in NYC. I have one memory of ...

    — Chris Luther  New York, New York

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  2. +

    Cooperstown.

    Date Submitted: September 28, 2010

    In the summer of 2006, our family made our first visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Walking through gallery of players plaques, I noticed an elderly gentleman reading that of Lefty Grove. I approached and inquired if he had special memories of the Philadelphia Athletic. He turned with eyes filled with tears and told me of when he was a young child, his father would take him to the ballpark via the train to see the Athletics play. Instinctively, I wrapped an arm around his shoulder and shared the moment with the gentleman - that instant making the visit to the Hall of Fame worth the trip.
    In the summer of 2006, our family made our first visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Walking through gallery ...

    — Steve Paradiso  Portland, MI

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    Steve Sankner

    Old Bridge, NJ

    September 29, 2010

    ->

    In reply to Steve Paradiso:

    Your story was similar to one of my visits to the Hall of Fame. One year in February we visited the Hall and virtually had the whole place to ourselves. I overheard an older couple from Brooklyn, NY commenting about their childhood players. When the husband saw Jackie Robinson's plaque he started to get emotional, then he saw Duke Snider's and started to cry. It brought a tear to my eye. There's nothing like Cooperstown.

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    World series 1998

    Date Submitted: September 28, 2010

    My father's long time personal hobby is baseball history. As a 14 year old wanting to be "daddy's little girl" I joined him for many trips to Autozone Park in Memphis for Redbirds games. During the inagural season, the Redbirds, being the AAA affliate to the Cardinals organization, held a promotion during the entire season. All anyone had to do was correctly answer ten baseball history questions. Now, a little about my father. He has a PhD in education, therefore all of his answers for this "quiz" were in perfect essay form. There were no one or two word answers jotted down on a loose leaf piece of paper and submitted to the Redbirds. Everything was typed and presented as if it were a term paper. That fall, my father recieved the phone call that we had been "drawn" and we would be attending the '98 series, where ever it may be! Now, the other part of this story is that my father was told out of the ten questions he proved three to be "trick questions" and the person responsible for creating them was unaware of his errors. To this day, I still believe my father was given the trip just because of his knowledge and passion for the subject. The first two games of the World Series in Yankee Stadium were incredible. I couldn't believe I was really there with my baseball buddy, my "Daddy". It was unreal that one had to look down on a home run from the upper deck. We were accustomed to first base seats, but it was the world series, so we weren't complaining! The highlight of the trip was when Tino Martinez was up to bat and he hit a grand slam home run on a full count. I had the opportunity to meet Tino a couple of years ago and tears came to my eyes as I recalled that special moment with my father.
    My father's long time personal hobby is baseball history. As a 14 year old wanting to be "daddy's ...

    — Elizabeth Adams  Gulfport, MS

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    My playing "career"

    Date Submitted: September 28, 2010

    My father taught me to love baseball when I was a small child, and playing catch with him in the backyard is one of my earliest memories. He took me to a number of Washington Senators games at Griffith Stadium, and taught me to play the game. I played all through my childhood, on teams and with friends at the local playground, and played in high school. I did not make the team in college, took up tennis, and thought I would never play baseball again.
    In the summer of 1988 there was an article in the Washington Post about a new
    Recreational baseball league, for men over 30. I was intrigued. I made some phone calls, found out a league was starting in the Washington area in 1989, and I got the fever to play again.
    Putting on the uniform again was a thrill, and making new friends through baseball was a great side benefit. Few things match the fun of competition and camaraderie of team sports, and baseball is one of the best, as the pace of the game leaves room for conversation, and the strategy of the game requires discussions. I played for numerous teams through the late 80’s and 90’s, and in 1996 joined a 30+ team in the National Adult Baseball Association called the Falls Church Indians. We wore the Cleveland uniform of that time, using the navy blue shirt with the Chief Wahoo emblem on the left chest.
    In 1997 we had a great season, as we had added two players with minor league experience, who were excellent hitters and fielders. My own position was pitcher, starting most of the time, but I pitched some in relief as well, and 1997 proved to be the best season of my life. In May Tom Mosseau, who was the coach and ran the team, and pitched as well, told us there was a tournament 4th of July weekend in Cooperstown NY, and asked if we wanted to play in it. Of course we were all excited, and everyone said yes. We risked being embarrassed on the field, as all of the players on our team were over 30, many of us well over; I was 46 at the time. The tournament was open to any team in the NABA, which was primarily a 19 and over league, so we would be playing against players much younger than ourselves. When we left for Cooperstown on July 1, my season was already going well. I had started and won 4 games with no losses, and had saved two others. Every team in the tournament, which is limited to 8 teams, is guaranteed a game at Doubleday Field, the beautiful little gem of a ballpark in Cooperstown, just two blocks from the Baseball Hall of Fame. It is a piece of hallowed ground for baseball fans, as, over the years, exhibition games had been played there during the induction ceremonies, so everyone from Walter Johnson to Randy Johnson had pitched there, and everyone from Babe Ruth to Cal Ripken had played there.
    Our first game was at a high school field on July 2, and it did not go well. We were beaten 12-4 by a team from Buffalo, featuring a number of strong, young hitters. Our next game was scheduled for 9am, Saturday, July 3, at Doubleday Field, against a young team from New York City. Tom Mosseau started the game for us, and he did well, but we were in for a struggle, as the youngsters from NYC could hit, but their pitching was not so good. Our centerfielder, Rick Alley, hit a long home run into the centerfield bleachers, and our third baseman, Rafael Sanchez, also hit one to leftfield. I came in to pitch in the 5th inning, with our team ahead 8-4, and though the score changed steadily, we stayed ahead, and I went out to pitch the bottom of the 9th with a 13-10 lead. Because of the holiday weekend there were many tourists in town, and many wandered into the ballpark, lured by the sounds of the game. Friends and family of the players told the fans about the teams, the league, and the tournament, so the people watching were aware we were amateurs, and of the age differences between the teams. The first hitter in the bottom of the 9th grounded out to second base, which is always a good thing. Getting that first out is always important, but the next hitter singled, the next reached on an error, and I walked the bases full. A single brought one run in, and a sacrifice fly made it 13-12, with runners on first and second. Another walk loaded the bases, and I was feeling very tense, not wanting to lose the game for my teammates who had worked so hard. The next hitter was a strong right-handed hitter, and we commenced to have a battle worthy of the circumstances. The count reached 2 balls and 2 strikes, and he then fouled off 4 pitches in a row. My next pitch was a fastball a little inside, and he turned on it and drove it out of the park, 50 feet foul. Rafael screamed at me from third base, “Don’t throw him that again!” I threw a curve, foul ball; slider, another foul ball. I decided to go with another fastball, this time up and in, and he popped it up. It was in the air long enough for what could have been both the tying and winning runs to cross the plate, before it settled in the glove of our shortstop, Fernando Villegas. Immediately my teammates had swarmed over me in a huge dogpile on the pitcher’s mound, as if we had just won the World Series. One of my teammates, Bob Mady, grabbed a handful of dirt from the mound, put it in my glove, and I have it to this day. We shook hands with our opponents, and then immediately had to clear our stuff from the dugout, so that the next teams could play their game. So we got our stuff, moved down into the seats along the third base line, and happily began changing out of our spikes and into our street shoes. As we were doing this, a few kids, about 7 to 9 years old, who had been getting the foul balls back for us, walked over to where we were with the balls they had left. Before Tom could tell them to keep them, they looked at us a bit sheepishly, and asked us to autograph the balls for them. As we walked to the parking lot a few minutes later, there was not a dry eye among us.
    My father taught me to love baseball when I was a small child, and playing catch with him in the ...

    — Jim Casey  Savannah GA

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  5. +

    No matter what, no matter where

    Date Submitted: September 28, 2010

    August, 1994. Tiny shop on the quay in Sydney, Australia. Four of us. All Americans, all from different parts of the country, all strangers to each other. Blind to the beautiful setting...arguing about the baseball strike. Nothing I can ever imagine would have as perfectly embodied the truth behind "..The one constant through all the years has been baseball..." It transcends age. It transcends race. It transcends gender. It is woven through our social fabric like shining golden thread uniting the patchwork pieces into something strong and comforting and deeply satisfying to behold...and these are MY Texas Rangers! :-)
    August, 1994. Tiny shop on the quay in Sydney, Australia. Four of us. All Americans, all from different parts of ...

    — D R Hamilton  Garland

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  6. +

    My Dad, the Yankees & Me

    Date Submitted: September 28, 2010

    Image for My Dad, the Yankees & Me
    My father took me to my first baseball game in 1960 at the old Yankee Stadium. The Yankees hosted the Chicago White Sox that summer day as Dad somehow managed to obtain 2 seats 15 rows behind home plate. As a 10 year old boy from New Jersey, my idols were Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra. Back then my images of the Yanks were only in black & white, courtesy of our small TV and the back pages of the New York Daily News. I remember that the old stadium was immense, the grass was vibrant green, the famous facade encircled the roof, and of course the legendary monuments stood deep in center field. I can vividly recall the aroma of hotdogs, beer and even the scent of cigar smoke from the two elderly gentlemen who sat behind us. The Yankees defeated the Sox that day 5-2, and Mantle homered in the 4th inning. It was truly an experience I would never forget. My father was a St. Louis Cardinal fan as his boyhood idol was Hall-of-Famer Joe Medwick (who hailed from our hometown of Carteret, NJ). My Dad passed away in 1972, but whenever the Cardinals are mentioned on radio or TV, good memories immediately return. Even though I'm a Yankee fan, I own a Cardinal's baseball hat in honor of my father. And even to this day, some 50 years later, the aroma of cigar smoke brings me back to that very first baseball game in 1960.
    My father took me to my first baseball game in 1960 at the old Yankee Stadium. The Yankees hosted the ...

    — Steve Sankner  Old Bridge, New Jersey

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    JANE SMITH

    SAN FRANCISCO

    September 28, 2010

    ->

    In reply to Steve Sankner:

    I'M 73 YEARS OLD AND HAVE LOVED BASEBALL SINCE I WAS A TEENAGER. I MEMORIZED THE BURMA SHAVE STATISTICS BOOK YEARS AGO. THE LAST BASEBALL GAME I WENT TO WAS BARRY BONDS APPROACHING THE HOME RUN RECORD. HE WAS CYNICALLY KEPT IN A GAME WHERE HE COULDN'T ADEQUATELY PLAY LEFT FIELD SO THAT HE PERHAPS COULD HIT A HOMERUN FOR THE RECORD. HE COULDN'T. AND HE LOST THE GAME FOR THE GIANTS BY THIS TRAVESTY.

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    Steve Sankner

    Old Bridge, NJ

    September 30, 2010

     ->

    In reply to JANE SMITH:

    Hello Jane: The Giants had already left for California when I became interested in baseball. But my two favorite Giants were Willie Mays & Juan Marichal. I also remember all three Alou brothers played in the outfield in a game against the Mets, Felipe, Matty & Jesus Alou. Do you miss Candlestick Park?

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  7. +

    The Great One

    Date Submitted: September 28, 2010

    He was elegant. He was royalty and he was the star of my very first game.

    July 17, 1970 - Three Rivers Stadium- Pittburg, Pa

    The second game ever played at what was then considered a marvel of a ballpark.

    The Cincinati Reds vs. the Pittsburg Pirates. The dawn of an emerging rivlary which would help define 1970's National League baseball. The Reds had taken the opening game.

    Roberto Clemente, a bare year and a half from his dominant and defining magnum opus, the 1971 World Series starts in right field.

    I remember him through my 15 year old eyes. I remember how everyone stayed in their seats to see his at bats. I can see him stretching his neck from side to side. His black "21" stark against the bright white of his uniform's back.

    I can see strike one down the middle. He takes. Then comes a ball down, barely off the plate-clearly outside.He seems to uncoil in several directions all at once. The ball is hit like a howitzer shot.

    For the night Roberto hit a lovely home run and a lovelier triple. He had three hits total and drove in a run.

    But it was his play in the top of the ninth that saved the game and still leaves me searching for words to explain how different he was from all the other brilliant players I've seen since.

    With the Pirates leading by a run, the Reds mounted the late rally. A ball is stroked to right field and played on the hop from the back third of the outfield grass.The runner is sent round third for home and for the tie.

    Clemente's arm simply defies a person's ability to conjure up an adequate image of it or produce a proper simile from anything seen in nature. Perhaps the best way to convey it is by saying that it was simply unnatural. He was not a large man but that arm was BIG. And I was blessed to see it gun out that run in my very first game.

    The ball was waiting for the runner when he got there. While often used to describe a line drive I now knew what a frozen rope looked like, in reverse.A weeks worth of laundry hung out to dry, folded and put away. Thank you very much! 4-3 Pittsburgh

    Only later did I come to understand what an extraordinary person Roberto was beyond his baseball abilities. But it was on that first night, 40 years ago, that he assulted my understanding of the possible, created a life long baseball fan and built a permannent place in my heart, where he lives on as best I ever saw.
    He was elegant. He was royalty and he was the star of my very first game.

    July 17, 1970 - Three ...

    — Gary B. Myers  Nixa, MO

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    1984 Playoffs against the Cubs, Garvey "Goes yard!"

    Date Submitted: September 28, 2010

    I started watching live baseball when I got to go to a game with the Little League taking us to the Washington Senators game when I was a kid. It took me almost 10 years before I saw my next live game. That was the start of my love affair with the San Diego Padres, which is still going on.
    After graduating from high school, I joined the Navy and after boot camp in San Diego, photography school in Pensacola, FL, I got stationed in San Diego. After my first year, I acquired some friends who loved baseball, and after work, we would fill a gallon cooler with beer (you could bring in coolers but not bottles or cans) and a bucket or two, depending on how many were going, and buy tickets in the "cheap seats", and on weekday nights, the crowds were sparse, so it was inexpensive, and we would go to have a couple of beers, eat some KFC, and watch some baseball from the upper deck. We would usually sit behind home plate, again upper deck. Well, I got married, eventually get out of the Navy, rejoin the Navy, and in 1984, I got orders back to San Diego. I wasn't feeling great on the trip across country, but wanted to get the family to San Diego, rent an apartment, get our furniture delivered, and go from there. When we got there, I still felt terrible, and finally started having chest pains, and the next morning asked my wife to take me to a Navy dispensary. The only one we remembered was at the old Navy Training Center, so on the day that just happened to be the Opening day for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, I get to the dispensary, and they smelled my breath, and the first things they asked was if I could give them a urine sample. Well, I had been drinking milk, sodas, water, anything but alcohol, and drinking in that much produced a lot of output, so it was no problem. They came back, they told me they were taking me to the Naval Hospital, gave my wife directions to get her and our son there, told her to go to the ER, and I got whisked away in an ambulance to be diagnosed with diabetes, and I had a very high sugar content in my urine, and with that I was plugged into so many machines, I had so many needles in and out of me, and the ER doctor came over to me and said, "Have you thought about what you are going to do when they let you out?" And I told him go to the ship I had orders to, and he said, "You have diabetes, and they are putting you out of the Navy. It will take a couple of months for everything to go through."
    So I had some time off, and then got put in a unit that held all of the people being put out of the Navy, but the whole baseball season I had been watching the Padres. I was probably the only person in Virginia Beach, where I was stationed before getting the orders to San Diego, to keep wearing my Padres cap, the old brown and mustard yellow hats. Got to watch a great brawl in Atlanta during the game, and they kept the cameras rolling, not going to commercials. After that, the Padres had a "swagger", an attitude change, and they got into first place, and stayed there until the end of the season.
    So they went to Chicago for the best 3 out of 5 games, and the first game was a shocker - the Padres lost by over 10 runs, and then the next day, the game was closer in score, but the Padres lost. They flew into San Diego that night, and the busses taking them to the stadium turned into the open gates of the stadium, and there at over 11pm were a couple of thousand fans, cheering thenm on, and they had a stage set up, and called the players up, and even though they looked so bad, all of these people came out to tell them they still were rooting for them.
    For games three and four, a good friend had season tickets, so he sold me a ticket, and he and I went to the games. The third game, the Padres looked good, and won. The next night, we go and the ganme went back and forth, and Steve Garvey had magic in his bat that night, and in the botton of the ninth inning, the Padres were losing by 2 runs, there were 2 Padres on base, two outs, and Steve Garvey got up to the plate, and I turned to my friend, and I said, "He is going to go yard", and sure enought, Steve Garvey smacked the ball over the right field wall and won the game. The crowd was going crazy, and Garvey came out of the dugout, and everybody was cheering, and the next day, the Padres won the game easier than the other two, and went to the World Series for the first time ever. They won 1 game at home, which I got to see live, but lost 1 at home, and the three games in Detroit. But as I am typing this I look over and I still have my ticket stub from the 4th playoff game where Garvey "went yard" and won the game, and it sits next to an autographed photo I got from him the following year. Got them matted and framed, and I will never forget that game. Pure magic.
    I started watching live baseball when I got to go to a game with the Little League taking us to ...

    — Matthew Hunsicker  San Diego Stadium

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    craig chronert

    sandpoint, idaho

    September 29, 2010

    ->

    In reply to Matthew Hunsicker:

    before you know it, these icons will be gone. Uncle Lee, 97 yrs. old, and his younger brother, my dad, pushing 89 on halloween, will still be able to amaze you about the steller career of my dad who batted against Satch and covered second while Dom covered center field and Joe covered right. My dad, Harry, tried out for the Los Angeles Angles and hit three homers and two triples and the scout told him not to go anywhere.............thes... guys don't talk much, but when they do, better have your pencil sharp!

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  9. +

    Yogi!

    Date Submitted: September 28, 2010

    My grandfather was a big Yankee fan. As a little girl, I didn't know what all the fuss was about. Then one day while he was watching a game on T.V., I heard him yelling, "Yogi!, Yogi!" I thought he was referring to Yogi Bear, my favorite cartoon at the time. He sat me on his lap and told me about Yogi Berra, whom he felt was the greatest baseball player in the world. I've been rooting for the Yankees ever since.
    My grandfather was a big Yankee fan. As a little girl, I didn't know what all the fuss was ...

    — Teri Gresh  Hillsborough, NJ

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  10. +

    Bleacher seats

    Date Submitted: September 28, 2010

    I'm thinking of the first time that I sat in the bleachers at Wrigley Field. My dad took my brother and me to see the Expos on a Sunday in July of '84, and the Cubs were either in first place or close to it at that point. We got to the park about three hours before game time but there was already a very long line (they were still general admission seats then) and we were very near the back. Finally entering the park, we scrambled looking for a spot to sit and eventually had to settle for a little nook that basically tucked in behind the scoreboard in center. It was nice to be out of the hot sun up there but you had to stoop down a bit to see the game. No matter - it was a glorious summer day, the Cubs were having a winning year and Keith Moreland provided all of their scoring with a grand slam in a 4-3 win. People were pretty jacked up after the game: throwing full cups of beer up in the air and chanting, "We want the Mets" (they were coming in for a huge four game series staring on Monday). We moved en masse down the stairs and out of the park with all of the yelling and boisterous behavior that comes when you get a big win. Such excitement to be in the midst of that crowd as a nine-year old boy.
    I'm thinking of the first time that I sat in the bleachers at Wrigley Field. My dad took my ...

    — Greg Meyer  Chicago, IL

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  11. +

    New York Yankees/New York Mets

    Date Submitted: September 28, 2010

    Growing up in NYC made it natural for you to root for the Yankees. Following the events of 9/11 changed my view of baseball and my view of the City and the people living in it. Watching the Mets come from behind and Mike Piazza hitting a go ahead Homerun after 9/11 gave me a new found respect for the game of baseball and how it resurrected a city and carried our hopes and dreams to a new level. The 2001 Playoffs changed the way we watched baseball and how we honored those that were lost in the horrific event and how WE Americans show respect to our loved ones who passed away on that day. The Yankees playing their hearts off not only lifted a City from the ashes but allowed for New Yorkers for 3 1/2 hours to forget about our daily worries and the 9/11 talks. I was entering my Senior year of High School and I watched both planes crash into the Twin Towers, an event that changed my life forever and without baseball many of us would not be able to move on as quickly as we did.
    Growing up in NYC made it natural for you to root for the Yankees. Following the events of 9/11 ...

    — Isidro Fortuna  New York City

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  12. +

    Stephen Strasburg and My Daughter

    Date Submitted: September 28, 2010

    My all time favorite memory of baseball will be the LA Dodgers winning the 1988 World Series. But Now I have a new memory and one that will last unto my grand kids. I took my two year old daughter to see Stephen Strasburg's major league debut. We watched his first pitch to his last pitch. We left the game only because it was bed time for her. It was truly an exciting time to be at Nationals Stadium. I have never seen anything like that and I am glad I was able to share it with my daughter. Whom I hope one day will be throwing as hard as Strasburg. She throws pretty hard and accurately right now, so our new phrase to her is "No Strasburging in the house." My daughter was born in DC so this will be her hometown team (until she chooses otherwise). Mine will always be the Dodgers, win or lose. Baseball is something that will always be a part of me and I am glad that I can share it with her. Thank you Mr. Burns.
    My all time favorite memory of baseball will be the LA Dodgers winning the 1988 World Series. But Now I ...

    — Doug  MD, USA

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  13. +

    Game 7, 2006 NLCS

    Date Submitted: September 28, 2010

    My family was in the stands (the upper deck, and the way upper deck, actually) at Shea Stadium (RIP) for game 7 of the NLCS between the beloved Mets and the Cardinals in 2006. Yes, it was unfortunate thaat the Cardinals won that game and went to the World Series. But it was an icredible game and I got to see the famous Endy Chavez catch in person. Endy wasn't much of a hitter (19 homeruns in a 9 year career), but he could play the field. That catch over the wall at Shea was just amazing and I'll always remember being there in person even if I'll try to forget the outcome of the game.
    My family was in the stands (the upper deck, and the way upper deck, actually) at Shea Stadium (RIP) for ...

    — David  Westchester County, NY

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  14. +

    First Game Played at Comerica Park

    Date Submitted: September 28, 2010

    Section 113, Row 38, Seat 18.
    Jonathan’s seat for Opening Day. He tried it out like a new suit of clothes, twisting a bit in his winter jacket to get the feel of the red plastic that was still dirty from a mixture of concrete dust and winter weather. It was a perfect fit, and tomorrow he would be the first person to ever see a ballgame from that spot.
    Section 113, Row 38, Seat 18.
    Jonathan’s seat for Opening Day. He tried it out like a new suit ...

    — David Sherman  

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  15. +

    World Series 2004

    Date Submitted: September 28, 2010

    Like countless others the Red Sox world championship of 2004 is permanently in my memory. My head was filled with thoughts of my father, who passed in September 2001 having grown up in Lancaster, Massachusetts, and his father, too. Dad didn't live long enough to see the Sox win a series in his lifetime. My grandfather listened to every game on the radio or on television while puffing a cigar. All of that streamed through my mind as the tears flowed down my cheeks. What a memory!
    Like countless others the Red Sox world championship of 2004 is permanently in my memory. My head was filled with ...

    — Mark Richter  Laguna Niguel, California

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  16. +

    1995 ALDS

    Date Submitted: September 28, 2010

    I had been a casual baseball fan for years, following my New York Yankees but never fully engaged. The Bronx Zoo championships of the 1970's had given way to the bloated excesses of the 1980's and ended with the ugly Steinbrenner-Spiro-Winfie... fiasco. Frankly, the 1994 strike was simply the excuse I had been subconsciously looking for. I would never watch the game again . . . and I meant it. Then something magical happened.

    I finally dropped my "principled objections" and watched the ALDS between the Yankees and Seattle. And there was the 15 inning masterpiece. As the game progressed, it became clear that these men weren't playing for the money. They weren't even playing for the chance to go on to the next round. They were playing for the championship of each other. And there was Ken Griffey, Jr., standing above all the rest. He played like a kid in little league - running all out to make catches against the wall, stretching out the extra-base hits. And when it was over, this Yankee fan who had turned his back on the game was sitting on the couch crying. But not because I was sad because me team lost.

    Rather, because I had shared a moment when all that mattered had taken place on the field. From an 18 year-old Alex Rodriguez pinch-hitting to a young Mariano Rivera going five shutout innings to the heroics of Junior, I had seen what happens when the players forget there is a paycheck involved.

    With that realization came an appreciation for just how beautiful this game really is. Whether it was Derek Jeter diving into the stands to catch a foul ball, Curt Schilling slowly bleeding into his sock or Raul Ibanez swinging for the seats with a torn abdominal muscle - there were always the moments. The moments when you realize these guys get paid to take batting practice. They get paid to come to spring training. But they never get paid to play the games.

    There were even those moments when you see players - big stars, even - realize it too. Who can forget A-Rod hitting a game tying homer against Boston in 2009 and hearing the crowd demand a curtain call? Who can forget the look in his eyes when he - the jaded superstar - saw that even after steroids, injury and personal scandal - the fans still wanted to connect with a man that could swing a 34 ounce piece of wood and bury a fastball in the bleachers at the critical moment. That they didn't just want to appreciate him, but to LOVE him.

    I would not have been able to appreciate those moments - to put them up there with my wedding day and the births of my children - had it not been for a bunch of guys in Mariner and Yankee jerseys back in October 1995. God bless all of you for giving me this game.
    I had been a casual baseball fan for years, following my New York Yankees but never fully engaged. The Bronx ...

    — Dennis Williams  Langhorne, PA

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  17. +

    Thanks to Mom: Brother and I wen to 1975 Reds/Bosox Game 3

    Date Submitted: September 28, 2010

    The Eddie Armbrister controversial bunt game. Reds win game by 1 run and that was play that was the key. My Dad came home in Oct of 75 as my 10 yr old brother (I was 11) and I saw him tell Mom how he got 4 tickets to game 3. He yelled call Lloyd and Edna (friends of theirs) and tell them we are all 4 going. Mom took one look at my brother and my face as we looked bummed out and said "You think I and Edna are taking those two boys ticktets?" Thanks Mom. It was a great experience at Riverfront Stadium!
    The Eddie Armbrister controversial bunt game. Reds win game by 1 run and that was play that was the key ...

    — John Clark  Paulding OH

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  18. +

    Reds on Radio

    Date Submitted: September 28, 2010

    An underplayed history of the game was and is the valueof listening vs watching. Marty Brenneman and Joe Nuxhall were the radio announcers in the 70's - present. Joe passed a few yrs back. To learn the game is to love the game and you must listen to eachh pitch to know the situation. The Reds will be in the playoffs again this year. I will be at the games with Dad and my 25 yr old son. It is simply one of few things we all understand and follow living apart. It is a family building game if enjoyed.
    An underplayed history of the game was and is the valueof listening vs watching. Marty Brenneman and Joe Nuxhall were ...

    — John Clark  Paulding Co. Ohio

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  19. +

    1968 pennant winning game

    Date Submitted: September 27, 2010

    I was 15 years old and loved the Detroit Tigers. Al Kaline, Willie Horton, Bill Freehan and 31 game winner Denny McClain. The stadium was filled with hope and anticipation that this was the night. Don Wert sigled in the winning run in the last inning. The place went crazy!!
    I was 15 years old and loved the Detroit Tigers. Al Kaline, Willie Horton, Bill Freehan and 31 game winner ...

    — Ray Klimas  Farmington Hills, Michigan 48336-Tiger Stadium

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  20. +

    The Mattingly work ethic

    Date Submitted: September 27, 2010

    I can vividly recall visiting my grandparents in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida during high school spring break- and also during baseball's spring training in 1984 and 1985. Being a baseball junkie I would hang out at Fort Lauderdale Yankee stadium and watch everything with a few dozen other fans in attendance- it certainly was not crowded. I loved it all; fielding drills, batting practice, everything.

    What has stuck in my mind most of all though, is watching Don Mattingly everyday hitting off that tee and hitting soft tosses. He would take several hundred swings before 9am, before all the other players arrived. Then the team workout would occur. At the end of the day, after the other players had gone home, there was Mattingly, off on the left field line hitting the soft tosses from a coach into a net- then again off the tee. The repetition was truly amazing and his exhaustion by days end was obviously complete.

    Watching a player like Don Mattingly made me realize and appreciate how much the behind the scenes work formed the foundation for his game-time accomplishments. I have never thought that Don Mattingly was the most physically gifted or talented ballplayer, but nobody worked harder than he did. It made a distinct impression on me in my early teens and I have tried to bring the same work ethic into my own career as a photographer. I am grateful to him for the important life lesson.
    I can vividly recall visiting my grandparents in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida during high school spring break- and also during baseball ...

    — Jeff Conley  Oregon

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