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Confessions of an Apathetic Baseball Fan
immediately feel how meaningful the place is as you walk into the stadium, and I was admittedly interested as we learned about the history in the old pubs and its hallowed halls. But the most impressive part was the sheer number of people in the stadium. I couldn’t believe how many people were at a baseball game at 1 p.m. on a Thursday! It was a packed house. To my bewilderment, the ticket taker simply said, “This is baseball. These are Cubs fans.”
Like many kids, I played Little League baseball. I was never extraordinary, and I don’t think the experience was miserable. I had a good time when I played, but for as many seasons as I spent on the ball diamond, I didn’t become a fan. Today, I’ll attend the occasional Boise Hawks game, watch baseball on TV, or hear people talking about it. Yet, I could not care less about what is happening. It’s just not exciting enough for me. Despite my resistance to the peanuts-and-cracker-jacks fun, a recent experience with my father-in-law had me wondering if I was too harsh with my assessment of baseball. On the other hand, there is my father-in-law who loves baseball and is a devoted Chicago Cubs fan. My wife’s family comes from the Omaha area which happens to be where they play the College World Series. Once, when back there to visit extended family, the event just so happened to coincide with our trip, and he really wanted to go. Being the dutiful son-in-law I am, along with pressure frommy wife (probably more so than being a good son-in-law), I faced the dread of having to sit through a college baseball game. My father-in-law claims I don’t understand all the intricacies of the game, and therefore I don’t understand what makes it so fun. I just think I need more action. But I do appreciate my father-in-law, and when I was in Chicago doing business this past summer, I had the perfect retirement gift for him. Despite his lifelong devotion to the Cubs, my father-in-law had never been to Wrigley Field to see his beloved team play. So, this past summer, I traveled to Chicago for work and took two days away from networking to take my son and his grandfather to Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs play the Colorado Rockies and the St. Louis Cardinals.
“Is this normal?” I asked.
“Absolutely,” she said.
Our seats for the Thursday game were on the lower level along the third- base line. We were right in the action, watching foul balls cruise into the stands and players running for their lives into home plate. The next day, we sat behind home plate as the Cubs took on their division rivals, the Cardinals. We could see the spin and speed at which each ball was thrown right from our seats! Suddenly, baseball made a little more sense. I began to wonder if I should venture out and give it another look or try. After seeing the game, I told my wife I would like to try going to another Major League game in a different city to see if it was baseball or just the experience at Wrigley. I left Wrigley Field impressed with what I saw, and for the first time, I actually enjoyed myself while watching baseball. To this day, I’m not sure I can ever sit down and watch a game on TV, but I do know that Wrigley Field, some time with my family, and great seats turned this apathetic baseball fan into an excited spectator (even if it was just for two days).
When we first walked into the stadium, I was in awe. Wrigley Field is a historic landmark in baseball and in American history. You can
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