Day 66 without Baseball

I have been watching baseball for as long as I can remember. My mom says I was four years old when I first became interested in baseball and asked her what she was watching on TV. It was a Mets and Dodgers series. My first memory of baseball, at least what I can remember, was watching David Wright stand in the batter’s box. He instantly became my favorite player (mostly because I had just turned five and he was #5). 


It’s funny when I tell people that I’m a Mets fan. I was born and raised here in the Central Valley so why would I like a team from a city (and state) I’ve never been to? The story of my fandom starts off in August of 1986. My mom was fourteen years old and her mom, my grandma, had just bought them a brand new color TV set that year. She tells me that the second she saw Keith Hernandez, she was in love. She watched them win it all that year, the last time they’ve done so. 


I was immediately drawn to baseball. The crack of the bat, the way players gave it their all to sprawl out and make diving catches, the way the infield had to work together to make the double play. It was hard not to fall in love with it all. 


After the Super Bowl, it’s back to baseball and Spring Training. It’s my favorite time of the year, after the holiday season. The days are going to start to get warmer, the flowers start to bloom and, of course, a new season of baseball emerges. One hundred and sixty two regular season games lie ahead. 


One thing you must know about being a Mets fan is that we are very cynical when it comes to the Mets. There’s no insult about my team that you can throw my way that I haven’t already thought of. The beauty of baseball is that every team gets a clean slate, even my very sucky team. 


I, like every other baseball fan was saying, “The (insert favorite team here) might win it all this year.” 


In my case, it was especially exciting because I had planned a trip with some of my best friends to go watch the Giants and Mets play this summer. I turned 21 in March and I was excited to finally be able to buy a ridiculously expensive beer at Oracle Park, but that all changed due to the coronavirus pandemic.


I have always known that baseball was a big part of my life. In fact, sports in general. I’d watch Mets games with my mom, reluctantly watch soccer games with my dad, and watch my siblings pretty much kill each other when their respective teams played each other (each one of my siblings likes a different football team). We never missed a World Series, Super Bowl, NBA Final, or World Cup in my house. I say all that to say: I miss sports. I miss them so much. I hadn’t fully realized the scope of my love for them until I didn’t have them anymore and I was forced to watch archived games.


So when baseball comes back, because it will, I will be even more appreciative for this heartbreakingly beautiful sport, and I certainly will not take it for granted.