I’ve been a lifelong Philadelphia Sports fan, even in my angst filled teenage years, I still went to games, publicly decried liking sports, but silently rooted for my teams to win. I came out of the sports closet again at 17 or 18 and have no qualms about my addiction now. I love sports, i love contests and competitions. Specifically I love Baseball, Football, and Hockey. Basketball is good, but I’m not enthused by it, I’ll always support a hometown run but nothing gets the humours flowing quite like a good game of any of the other three.
But baseball… Baseball is the sport that would be king. It is the only one of the big three to invoke honest to god emotional outbursts. I teared up when the Phillies clinched the East on Sunday… It comes from having a grandfather take you to games and explain things to you from when you were a wee tot. It comes from year after year of teams that break your heart. It comes from the blood of a city that has failed so often. I love me some football, I get irrational during hockey season, i scream, I yell, I boo the living hell out of anything that moves. But for some reason Baseball goes deeper. Maybe its the accessibility of the games, I can afford to go early and often if need be. The tickets aren’t a car payment. Cheap seats are cheap. I’ve been to 1 Eagles game, 3 Flyers games, and probably upwards of a hundred Phillies games. Cherry picking the games I wanted to see, could afford, and when they gave away cool stuff.
It feels weird to be here right now. Its October, the last time the Phillies were a news item in October was 1993, I was 13. We listened to and watched the broadcast of world series games in a tent during a Boy Scout Camping trip. I missed parts of game 4 of the 93 series because of that trip, but my parents taped it. I still have the tape somewhere around here.
Now I have my own little one to learn on the game, to teach the intricacies of a balk and a hit and run. When to pull a double switch and what double play depth is. The only time in 125 years that the Phillies went all the way, I was less than 1 year old. The pennant hangs in my office as a reminder of former glory. I want to add to that wall. I want to buy one my son will hang on his wall. His first Phillies game was taking me to the game on Fathers day this year, what a good kid.
You want emotion? Read Bill Lyons take on this feeling. A retired columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer came back for this story.