The Washington Times-Herald

Columns

August 2, 2013

Love of baseball still strong

WASHINGTON —

I love baseball. For as long as I can remember there has been something about this game that has drawn me in and taken hold of me. Maybe it was my father's same love that made it easy for me to latch on to a sport, which many in my generation don't care about anymore. The numbers say baseball doesn't connect to young viewers anymore, but they've never lost my vote.

Early on in my life, my father took my younger brother, Sean, and I to as many baseball games as he could. Often our vacations were built around where the New York Yankees were playing. My dad grew up on Long Island and loved the pinstripes, and I became a Yankee fan during the 1996 World Series — Derek Jeter's rookie year. 

My earliest memory of going to a baseball game was a Yankees-White Sox game in Chicago at Comiskey Park, which is now known as U.S. Cellular Field. A young pitcher by the name of Mariano Rivera was the starting pitcher — yes, Rivera was a starter before he discovered his famous cut fastball. 

I always hear people say professional football is much better on television than in person, but for baseball there truly is nothing like going to the ballpark. The moment when you move from the concourse to whatever section you are sitting in and you see the sun shining on the greenest grass you have ever seen always takes my breath away. We always sat in the upper deck behind home plate, which gave us a perfect view of the entire park. With the exception of two games, every baseball game I've been to in the first 27 years of my life have been with my father; so maybe it's the nostalgia of going to a baseball game with dad. 

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