For the Love…of Baseball

Before college, baseball was completely useless to me. There was no team that particularly mattered, and it was horrible to watch on TV. Sure, I liked A League of Their Own, but there wasn’t anything quite as captivating going on in real sports that made me want to pay attention.

Then came college, and I lived with five New Yorkers who had an entirely different opinion. The Manhattanites were die-hard Yankees fans, the Westchester kids pledged their love for David Wright and the New York Mets. After fate pointed me eastward in my post- graduation move, I felt morally torn between the lesser of two evils.

I’m going to preface my decision-making with the following: We had gone on sorority house trips to see the Detroit Tigers play, and the games had been so much more fun than TV could ever suggest. The weather was nice, people were relatively excited about it, I could understand how people got into baseball. But I wasn’t particularly attached to the Tigers. I hadn’t grown up with them. I didn’t care if they won or lost. I needed a team, and I was moving to baseball Mecca mid-season.

I decided to be fair that I would go to both a Yankees and a Mets game, and see which stadium showed me a better time. How much more equal-opportunity can you get? I ultimately went with the Yankees as of last June, which my Mets-loving former roommates refuse to accept, but I have to tell you, it wasn’t just that I enjoyed their hats more.

From the moment I got on a train packed with fans in team gear, I fell in love with the sport I’d been happy to ignore for years. By the time I ordered my overpriced hot dog from my uncomfortable third-tier seat, I thought the stadium might collapse with the thundering stomps of fans, cursing the opponent and always making snide remarks about the rivaling New York team, regardless of their presence or lack thereof.

And I was abuzz with the nervous energy of the crowd. Love for the game in Shea or Yankee Stadium is positively contagious… plus the seventh-inning stretch always allows for some fun little song-dance routine.

Still not sold? Here are some more reasons you may want to consider warming up to baseball:

  1. It makes for a great date, with a significant other OR friends. Seriously, it’s not that expensive to get nosebleed seats and you get to spend quality time together.
  2. What girl isn’t cute in a baseball cap?
  3. For some reason, hot dogs at a baseball game are amazing. Expensive, but amazing.
  4. On the same track… fountain soda. Mmm.
  5. Baseball uniforms are hot. Particularly if the player pushes up his pant legs so you can see the socks… may just be a personal weakness, but come ON. How is that not adorable?
  6. Sports trivia is always useful. You never know when you’ll help yourself in bar trivia or even by answering an exam question.
  7. Movies like The Sandlot. They’re just inspiring, and who didn’t have a little crush on Benny the Jet Rodriguez?

Got any reasons why YOU love baseball? Any baseball stories? Show us your team spirit!

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