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February 13, 2000: Born-Again In Baseball – Part Two: The Slump

When I hit about 15 years old, a couple of things happened. I was still a tomboy, yeah, but I started dating. And I started thinking about college. And I ran cross country track, and played tuba in the marching band, and was on the staff of the school literary magazine, and was in the Spanish Club, and taught mime to fourth graders, and became a professional ski instructor…. I became too busy for much baseball or many family outings.
And at that time the Yankees were entering a slump themselves. I was too busy even to watch them on TV. And many of my favorite players from the Year of the Comeback era were gone, Reggie, the Goose. And then I got accepted to college, in New England.

In 1985, I moved to Providence, RI to go to Brown University. Providence has a minor league team, the Pawtucket Red Sox, and is not that far from where the New England Patriots play. The Patriots even made a run at the Superbowl that year. But I never was into football, and, well, the Red Sox? I did try rooting for the Sox a few times–peer pressure. Shortly thereafter was the heartbreaking Mets/Sox Bill Buckner World Series, and I just didn’t have the stomach for it. It seemed easier in New England to just put sports out of my mind entirely. I took up tae kwon do, and my energy went into that, college team tournaments, Olympic Style full contact. I have a few medals hanging on my wall from that era.

When I graduated college, I moved to Boston for a job. And I’ve been here ever since. In fact, for five years I lived two blocks from Fenway Park.

Now in 1990, when I came to Boston, trying to get any coverage of anything in baseball other than the Red Sox and the occasional Yankee losing streak, was near impossible. You couldn’t get Yankee games on the radio (like you can in Connecticut). And I didn’t even have a tv, much less cable. So my following the Yanks was reduced to the occasional phone call to my Dad.

But then, just two short years ago, the Sosa/McGwire home run race broke the media silence here. And with the proliferation of cable channels and other sports media, we got less isolated here. And I have to admit, the whole “history in the making” thing of the McGwire/Sosa race really got my blood pumping. While home to visit my family we watched the Home Run Derby. I started to remember things about baseball I’d forgotten. On a business trip to Toronto in August ’98 I found myself glued to the set in my hotel room to watch a Blue Jays game. A Blue Jays game! Baseball fever was beginning to take hold again.

But a few things were still holding me back. One, my longtime boyfriend/partner/significant other (why don’t we just say fiance, since we’ll probably get married someday), wasn’t a convert, and two, we still had no way to really follow the games. We don’t have cable in our house–we’re both self-employed and work at home, so having cable would be probably the worst thing we could do to our earning potential… and as previously mentioned, we couldn’t get Yankees radio.

But that was all to change in 1999…

(Did you enjoy reading this blog entry? Please consider buying me a hot dog.)

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