The first sport I ever loved was baseball. It was the early 90’s, and being from the South, I was drawn to root for the Atlanta Braves. Luckily for me, they had a pretty damn good team at the time.
My story was your cliched story. I loved baseball so I collected cards, watched games on TV, played t-ball, watched every movie I could get my hands on and every book I could read. I was obsessed with baseball and sometimes I wonder how my life would have turned out had that passion remained.
But when I was ten year old, the players decided to strike, baseball stopped, and I got my first real taste of how greed rules the world. My love of baseball never recovered and this probably laid the foundation for my feelings towards moneys, athletes, celebrities, and corporations that remain today. I didn’t realize that until I started typing this, but damn, that probably was the root of all my mistrust and irritation with rich people.
I don’t think I’ve watched a full major league game since the World Series of 1993. It blows my mind to think it’s been over twenty-six years.
Anyway, despite my frustration with Major League Baseball, I’ve always admired the sport. I love baseball movies and enjoy reading baseball books. I’m also a fan of attending minor league baseball games. There is just something about the sounds, cheap food, and architecture that makes me feel good. Maybe it’s a conditioned response from all the “America’s pastime” propaganda and feel good movies, but I just enjoy the atmosphere for what its worth.
Living in the South means that I have a limited window to see minor league games without being sunburned or suffocating in the heat. Usually its the first two months of the season and if I don’t make a game by then I’m done. Sadly, I haven’t attended a game since July 4th, 2018 and I kind of miss it. It’s not something I do regularly, but it just seems like something nice to do in 2020, of course, when I can’t.
I had a goal to visit all of the ballparks in North Carolina in one season, but I’ve since given up on that dream. Instead, I think I’ll just enjoy the games as I can and maybe check out a couple of the stadiums that I’ve been wanting to such as Winston-Salem and Fayetteville, should those teams survive the pandemic.
This post was inspired by looking through my old pictures and seeing several shots from various games I’ve attended. I’ve sprinkled them in throughout this post as a reminder of those fun days at the ballpark.