baseball culture · Baseball Memories

How a Girly Girl Became a Baseball Fan

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I always like to tell people,

“I married into a love for baseball.”

My parents and brother give me crap because as a child I was your average luke-warm-fan-of-the-home-team {Padres} but when I married, I married into a love of the game, and a love of the Dodgers.

I always liked baseball. My brother and I even once scored tickets from a family friend to a very exciting playoffs game. But I never really knew or understood the game fully.

When David and I got married we lived on a half-a-shoestring budget. We had no cable but our college town happened to have a station on the Dodgers Radio Network, so we listened to just about ever Dodgers game on the radio (so old-school, huh?).

It was then that I “met” Vin Scully and began to learn all the ins and outs of the game, got to “know” the players and some of the Dodgers lore and history, and basically fell in love with America’s pastime.

Here are a few things I love about baseball

-it’s (essentially) a summer sport, so it invokes feelings of long, warm days
-it’s a mellow, relaxing game, most of the time.
-other times it is so exciting that you worry your husband will fall off the top deck at Dodger Stadium because he’s jumping and cheering so enthusiastically.
-it’s a family thing for us (we have quite the extended family of baseball fans).
-it has a rich American history.
-it’s become a global game, especially in countries where they speak my other language.
-the culture, players and fans are generally pretty down-to-earth; the vast majority of pros are not known for their extravagant lifestyles (superstars aside)
-it spans all ages and generations.
-it’s a family-friendly sport.

I’d consider myself a pretty sport person, tolerant of almost every sport, but here are a few factoids on why I would definitely categorize myself, 29-year old crafty, stay-at-home mom of a girly, as a bonafide Baseball Fan…

-I’ve been to 20 out of 30 Major League Baseball parks.
-I’ve been to several Spring Training games, in both FL and AZ.
-I’ve been on a 3-week long road trip to a dozen games across the Midwest and East Coast.
-I allow a collection of bobbleheads in my master bedroom.
-I attempt to run a baseball blog with my hubby (we’re not very consistent with it yet though, but stick with us, we have some great ideas in the works!).
-I play fantasy baseball. With my mom. (we totally tanked last year. my father-in-law whipped us all. we vow to pay a little more attention to our team this year). :)
-my daughter (who went to her first game at 3 weeks old)’s favorite color is Dodger Blue. And she loves Manny.
-I even find myself watching baseball when David’s not home!

Can I get a shout out from any other female fans? How did you get turned on to baseball?

We’re headed out to catch a few Cactus League games this weekend- looking forward to some sun and some foul balls! And you can bet our little one will be stoked to see Manny!

baseball culture · Baseball Movies

Baseball Movies: Eight Men Out

Today my brother pointed out that there are only 78 days until the 2010 MLB season begins… woohoo! As we get ready for baseball, we wanted to share some “reviews” of baseball movies. Some our family favorites, some are new to us.

We got things going this week with the classic (new to us), Eight Men Out.

Eight Men Out ReviewThe Movie

Eight Men Out is the story of the eight players on the 1919 White Sox who allegedly threw the World Series; they were also known as the “Black Sox.” The movie was made in 1988 and is full of well-known actors in their earlier days, several of whom will appear in other baseball (or sports) movies such as Charlie Sheen, David Strathairn, Christopher Lloyd and D.B. Sweeney (if you count The Cutting Edge as a sports movie).  This movie is a great one to view before watching Field of Dreams (more on that classic later) as it gives a little history of that tainted team, and specifically “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.

His Take

Perhaps the most interesting part of this movie is emphasis on the role that the whole team played in the scandal.  Shoeless Joe Jackson is typically the the one associated with the scandal because he was the best player on the team.  As a competitor, it’s difficult to believe that professional athletes actually took part in a scheme of this magnitude.  The cast is great and the baseball scenes are believable, which is important for the credibility of this historical baseball film.

Her Take

John Cusack is one of my favorite actors, so right off the bat I knew I’d like this one. Seriously though, I liked the history lesson, and the interpretation on whether questionables like Buck Weaver and Shoeless Joe were really involved in the fix. The one thing I wonder is… what if MLB and the commissioner were as hard on “cheaters” now as they were 90 years ago? We’d be out a lot of superstars, that’s for sure.

Family Take

Put the kids to bed for this one. It’s a drama that would be over the heads of young ones, although an older kid who’s interested in the history of the game might like it. The language isn’t too bad, but be sure to consider ethical issues present like gambling and drinking during prohibition.

photo credit: puck36

baseball culture · Baseball Randomness

The Culture of Baseball

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One of the things I love about the sport of baseball is the culture that goes along with it. The love of the game goes beyond the nine innings and the twenty-five man roster. It stretches towards books, movies, songs, and more. It is a culture that inspires road trips and pilgrimages and international camaraderie.

It is an almost romantic pastime, if we look at the Oxford definition of the word: inclined toward or suggestive of the feeling of the excitement and mystery of love. Doesn’t that describe the attitude of most serious baseball fans? There’s definitely an excitement and mystery in loving the game of baseball.

A simple search on Amazon for the word baseball brings up results in thirty categories, from DVDs to Jewelry to Gourmet Food– we’re talking thousands and thousands of results. In one sense the sport has possibly just become as commercialized as anything else in pop culture, but on the other hand, maybe this phenomenon is simply due to a sincere, widespread love of the game.

Stay tuned as we review and discuss our favorite items and aspects of Baseball Culture here on Round Ball, Round Bat.