Take Me Out To The Ballgame

For the first time since the mid 80’s we cannot watch the Braves on tv. We were in Albany, NY then and our cable company didn’t carry TBS. We could go to Troy, NY to a bar but it didn’t matter that much. We had become Mets fans and were happy with that and only saw the Braves when they played the Mets. Did drive to Montreal to see the Braves play the Expos one time. 1984. We got there early and hung around during batting practice. Willie Stargell saw Luke and I near the Braves dugout and brought Luke a ball and signed for him as did Dale Murphy and a few others. Bob Horner had no interest. Fast became not a Bob Horner fan. Willie Stargell was just the best.

From 1994 through May of 2009 I didn’t watch ANY baseball. The ‘94 strike broke my heart and put me off baseball for those 15 years. I did attend a Braves game, an Expos game, and a Rockies game ilduring that 15 year period as we had AAA annual conferences in those cities when the home teams were in town. But I mostly enjoyed free beer and hot dogs and socialized. I’m good at socializing.

Anyway, back to Schenectady, NY in June of 2009. I was working the Hudson Valley region for AAA and Paul was with me. Summer. My University at Albany, SUNY “kids”, from when I was in campus ministry there ‘83-‘86, had us over at the, now Father Bob Longobucco’s home, rectory, for a dinner. And I watched the Mets game with the old gang. Father Bob said, at some point, “Come back to the game! It’s all about the game.” The spirit moved me, as she is wont to do, and I got it. Again. Baseball fever. And I’ve been watching the Braves and the playoffs and World Series since that fateful day in Schenectady.

So, here I sit, today, not watching the Braves. I now have YouTube TV and they don’t carry our Bravos (on BSSE). I got a trial subscription to MLB TV and it’s blacked out on there. Lotta good that does. I do get the audio. Also I did get the Mets and Marlins yesterday on MLB. Full circle.

When we started pulling for the Mets, Daryl Strawberry was a rookie and they went 68-94 that season. 1983. Doc Gooden was a 19 year old rookie in ‘84. You know the rest of that story. It was a glorious run. I do cringe every time I hear Kirk Gibson’s name. You might remember he hit that tater in ‘88, limping around the bases, that crushed the souls of Met’s fans everywhere.

But hey! Maybe that was karma for the stunning ‘86 World Series game 6 when Bill Buckner booted that grounder, in the bottom of the 10th, and our Mets went on to win it all over the Ted Sox. 108-54 regular season. How sweet it was!

I grew up a Yankees fan until the Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966. It was all about Mickey Mantle for me and several million other kids. Remained a Yankees fan, in the AL, until the late 70’s, when I got enough of George Steinbrenner.

But that is another story for another time.

Hey! I see I can get the Mets and Marlins on MLB. Ok, it’s 4-2 Metropolitans in the top of the 6th! Let’s Go Mets!

I’ll probably get weepy singing ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame’ during the 7th inning stretch. That happens a lot with me.

Fathers and sons and baseball. It touches my soul.

“Popcorn! Peanuts! Cracker Jacks! Hot dogs! Cold beer right heah!”

“… And it’s ONE! TWO! THREE STRIKES, you’re out! At the old ball game.”

Gotta go now. I think I’ll listen to Susan Sarandon’s monologue that opens ‘Bull Durham’.

I ❤️ baseball!