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Category Archives: Baseball Fans and Fandom

On being a baseball fanatic and adventures with the faithful of many teams.

April 15, 2009: Moving the Fences In

So today was the day that MLB honored Jackie Robinson, an annual event on April 15th that has been growing bigger every year since the retirement of Robinson’s #42 throughout all of baseball (except for those players who were still wearing it, like Mariano Rivera). Today every player in the majors (and even the umpires) […]

April 7, 2009: No Bailout Needed

Today’s post in our week of special piece Welcoming Back Baseball is a guest post by my good friend Patrick Hughes, who is a devoted Giants fan living in San Francisco. Today the Giants are having their own Opening Day and Patrick has been texting me updates from the ballpark. But here’s a piece he wrote about what he had to go through to obtain that seat he’s sitting in as I post this:

No Bailout for Baseball Needed
by Patrick Hughes

You’d think by now that I would be used to the swindling tactics of Major League Baseball, but purchasing Opening Day tickets today took the cake…

(Click title to read entire article)

On “Diamond Girls:” Female Baseball Fandom

(Originally posted February 16, 2000, reposted to new blog on December 9, 2008)

So, I never really thought about the difference between female baseball fans and male baseball fans, until the whole Derek Jeter thing.

Let me explain. Growing up as a kid, I was a tomboy, and was always doing this that the “guys” did: I ran cross country track, and played the sousaphone (tuba), and I was the one girl in my fifth grade class who traded baseball cards. (Because I only cared about the Yankees, I didn’t mind letting the guys bid on my other hot players who were non-Yankees… the going rate for a “trade” back then was a penny a card, or a card of equal “value” for a card… which meant someone like Reggie Jackson wouldn’t go for less than 75 cents, and could get bid up to about $3. In milk money, that was a significant amount! I was also my class’ treasurer… and I made a killing shedding the Dodgers, Reds, and Mets I didn’t want…)

Anyway, the thing is, I didn’t really think of baseball fandom as a masculine thing, particularly. And I still don’t, especially not with all the women I always see when I go to games. And they’re not there as tag alongs to their boyfriends or husbands.

Then again, in New York, maybe they are just there to see Derek Jeter… (click post title above to read entire essay)

Born Again in Baseball: Part Three: The Comeback

(Originally posted February 13, 2000, reposted to new site December 3, 2008)

WILBB 2000 Offseason LogoIn 1999, corwin and I had been together eight years. Eight years! And now that we’re both in our thirties, we’ve gotten on to a kind of second-childhood kick. (We also took a vacation to Disney World this year.)

I decided that, with our limited funds, we ought to take a vacation to New Jersey, and it was high time he experienced two of the things that were really formative to me as a kid. One, the Jersey Shore (Seaside Heights, specifically) and two, Yankee Stadium…

(click title above to read entire post)

Born Again in Baseball: Rookie

(Originally posted February 13, 2000, reposted to new site November 1, 2008)

So, how did a young fan of Reggie Jackson, the Year of the Comeback, Bucky Dent, Ron Guidry, and Thurman Munson, a woman who still counts among one of the best days of her life witnessing Dave Righetti’s Fourth of July No-Hitter live at Yankee Stadium, lose her faith in the late ’80s, forget the sport of baseball entirely, and then find it again in 1999?

(Click title above to read full article and find out…)

September 21, 2008: The Curtain Comes Down

Here’s a trivia question you’ll be able to stump your friends with in 2013. Who hit the last home run in Yankee Stadium? Answer: Jose Molina. Jeter tried to do it, but his line drive was caught just short of the wall. Johnny Damon tried to do it, blasting a three-run shot to put the […]

August 31, 2008: When The World Is Running Down

Well, I have probably just seen my last game at Yankee Stadium, at least the stadium as I knew it. My very earliest trips to the stadium were before the mid-70s renovation. I even remember a doubleheader at Shea on a day it poured rain so hard that the decks looked like waterfalls. But the […]

June 1, 2008: For the Birds

I have now initiated my friend Brian (let’s call him Brian…) to the fun and wonder of Major League fandom. I took a trip to Baltimore to take him to his first major league game, a tilt of Orioles versus Yankees. The reason I went all the way to Baltimore for this is that the […]

April 1, 2008: Being There

I cried a lot yesterday. There are a lot of reasons why, and they all come back to baseball.

I drove to New York City Sunday night, had a lovely dinner with my good friend Lori in the Bronx, who shares the same birthday with me. We have a tradition of going to Opening Day at Yankee Stadium together, since the home opener often falls on or next to our birthday, and then having dinner at a steakhouse in Yonkers that we like…

(click title above to read complete article)

September 24, 2007: Love Rules

“It was a day of love at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. It began with an outpouring of love for someone recently departed from the family, Phil Rizzuto. While many members of the Rizzuto family watched from seats of honor near home plate, the scoreboard played a highlight montage from Phil’s career as player and as broadcaster. The music they chose couldn’t have been more fitting: “That’s Amore.” But what struck me most that day was the way the fans have embraced one of the youngest, newest members of the family, Joba Chamberlain…”

September 21, 2007: Seasonal Color

In this age of digital photography, I really should have been documenting this better. But at the time, I really did not know that it would have Pennant Race Implications. I’m talking about my hair

June 3, 2007: Community Values (Dinner on Arthur Ave. in the Bronx)

“I had dinner last night at Dominck’s on Arthur Avenue, a Bronx Italian-food institution where there is no menu, they only take cash, and there’s an hour wait for a table for dinner on Saturday night. Last night as we climbed the steps up to the waiting room, Doug Mientkiewicz was on the ground being examined by Gene Monahan, the Yankees’ team trainer, and the lead had slipped away. In the time it had taken us to walk from the car to the restaurant, the score had gone from 6-5 Yanks to 7-6 Sox. “What the hell happened?” I asked a guy sitting at the bar, but he was A) Clearly not from New York as he seemed taken aback to have a stranger talk to him. (Get used to it, buddy.) and B) Not a Yankee fan, as he hadn’t the foggiest idea…”

October, 6 2006: ALDS Game Three

“Well, I tried my best. Joe Torre always says that game three of a five-game series is the pivotal one, so I broke out the heavy artillery tonight. First, we switched bars, heading off to the Sports Depot in Allston to watch the game. The Sports Depot used to be a train station, and it’s this huge place with a vaulted roof and dozens of huge plasma TVs. We’ve never been too badly harassed there for being Yankees fans, and they have a decent menu, too…”

October, 4 2006: Reign Delay?

“There we were, at the bar, drinks in hand, scorecards ready, the HD TV splashing our faces with color, watching those dreaded words scrolling across the bottom of the screen: “Weather Delay.”

We passed the time playing Hangman and eating chicken wings. It will not surprise you to hear that the first word corwin attempted to stump me with was “grand slam.” I nearly got him with “mound ball,” and he eventually did trick me with “knuckle curve.” I had him almost hung with the word “championship,” and I think I would have finally gotten him on the next round when the game was called due to rain…”

September, 17 2006: Family Trip

“Some years ago, my parents relocated from the New York area to Tampa, as those over 65 are wont to do. Fortunately for my Yankee-loving family, the move allows them to see plenty of their Yankees every spring, as well as several times a year at Tropicana Field. Last September, in fact, I flew to Florida for one particular Yankees’ series which happened to coincide with my father’s 70th birthday (My mom and I threw him a surprise birthday party in a luxury suite, and the Yankees also scored like 20 runs in the first two innings. It was a great party.). This September, though, my parents came the other direction, visiting friends and family throughout New Jersey and Massachusetts with an eye toward driving to Cooperstown…”

August 16, 2005: Touching Base (My baseball travels in August)

My baseball travels have been extensive of late — so extensive that I have not had time to pause and write about all the things I’ve seen and done. Here are some snapshots from the past month in my baseball life. August 1 I went to Cooperstown for the Hall of Fame inductions, which was […]

April 17 2001: Tonight I Love Baseball

If you’ve been reading “Why I LIke Baseball” for a while, you know where my team allegiance lies. If you haven’t, it’s no secret I’m a lifelong Yankees fan, born in New York City, raised in the Nettles-Reggie-Munson era, and avidly following the recent championship dynasty in the Bronx. But what I’m discovering this season […]

February 15: Home Stretch

Apologies, but though this piece was written on February 15th, technology conspired to keep it from appearing until February 24th… -ctan It has been a long, cold offseason, but this year I’ve done everything in my power to try to stave off the pangs of withdrawal. There’s still a few weeks before exhibition games begin, […]

November 12 2000 : Care Package

My mom is the absolute greatest, you know that? Okay, well, you know how when you went to summer camp or to college, these packages would arrive from her, and they’d be full of things like cookies, or books, or photos, or other nifty things that made you feel wonderful and loved and comforted and […]

October 31 2000: Withdrawal Symptoms

It’s hard to believe, but the huge empty hole I felt when last year’s season ended doesn’t seem to be quite as huge or as empty-seeming this year. Yet. Part of this may be the fatigue I feel after following the season so intensely since March, especially given how exhausting the Yankee run became, as […]