Hi. Barb here. And I just want to say, I love Fenway Park. Which is interesting, because honestly, I could care less about baseball.
When I first came to New England as a young bride, (or more precisely a young girlfriend, or young fiancée or young what-the-heck-are-we-doing-exactly-?, depending on who you asked), on the very first evening, I asked Bill, “What are we doing tonight?” and he said, “The Red Sox are on TV.” And, I thought, okay, sounds fine.
When I asked him the same question the next night and got the same answer, it was the first time I realized that baseball, unlike football, isn’t a once-a-week, easily dispensed-with sort of a thing.
Since then, baseball has been the background noise of my summer existence. Usually, quite literally. We had a summer cottage for years where we didn’t have a TV, and I got quite used to, actually got to really enjoy, reading a book with the radio announcers’ chatter, the crack of the bat and the crowd noise in the background.
Sometimes my husband will leave me in the car with the radio on and the score 3-1 to go off and run some errand. Then he’ll come back and the score is 3-11. “Oh my God, what happened?” he’ll yell. And I shrug and say, “I dunno.”
Here are my three all purpose baseball conversation starters.
“What’s the score?” (This can also be a conversation ender, depending).
“What happened?” Useful when spouse or crowd are suddenly cheering or swearing. Also useful for those really esoteric calls that only baseball fans understand.
“Oh, my God, what happened?” Useful for grand slam homeruns, no hitters, bench-clearing brawls and injuries. Baseball injuries always seem scary to me and I say this as someone who has a scar on her lip from being hit by a pitch in a game I wasn’t even playing in.
That’s my entire repertoire.
Which is why it’s odd that I really love to go to baseball games. I love being outside on summer nights. Or sitting in the sun, as I did last Wednesday, on a lazy summer afternoon, slathered in sun block to ward off the condition a friend of mine calls, “Celtic leprosy.”
Ballparks offer some of the best people-watching anywhere. And there’s so much more that happens on the field when you’re there in person—stuff you can’t se on the TV. I love Fenway, but I also like smaller parks. I’ve seen the Lowell Spinners and been to red Sox training camp in Fort Myers. Seeing the Portland Seadogs is one of the reasons for my goal of spending more time in Portland this summer.
I like baseball movies, too. I could watch Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, A League of Their Own and Fever Pitch in a pretty much endless loop.
But then, of course, none of those movies are really about baseball.