Tuesday, March 30, 2010

ON SPORTS ~ Why My Hobby Totally Rocks...



Think for a moment about your favorite hobby. That thing you wish someone would pay you to do. The pastime that always calls to you, acting like the devil on your shoulder when you are trying to be productive with your daily boring life. Well, I would be the richest woman on Earth if I could find a way to get paid to sleep. But that isn't really a hobby. That is just laziness. No, my favorite hobby is baseball. If you've spent any time here, you know that already. During all of last year's baseball season, I shared my life story and how baseball was there every step along the way. But for those of you who missed it, let me just sum up for you here a few select reasons why I think baseball is a terrific hobby to have.

1. IT SIGNALS SPRING: Here in New England, the winters totally suck. They start in November and end in April. The news does a whole segment when the equipment truck leaves Fenway Park for Spring Training in Florida each February. They do this because it warms our hearts in the midst of freezing temperatures, to know that in a matter of weeks, baseball will begin again and before we know it, it will be warm enough for the boys to come home and play for real.

2. IT ALLOWS FOR MULTI-TASKING: Baseball was made for radio. You can work in the yard, go for a hike, relax on the beach, go on a road trip or gather at a BBQ - all with the game on the radio in the background. The excitement in the announcers' voices signal when something important is happening so you don't miss a moment of the good stuff. I have actually seen someone read while attending a game in person, letting the crowd's emotion signal for them when something important was happening. I wouldn't recommend this when sitting in foul ball territory however.

3. IT IS INTENSE, WITHOUT THE EFFORT: There's nothing like a rush to get the blood flowing. Especially when you can experience it without physical exertion of your own. Watching sports are great for that. Baseball can be intense on many levels - waiting for the stolen base attempt, the long battles between a hitter and the pitcher, the long relay throw home with the runner screaming through the catcher. Some sports are non-stop stress and action like football - it can wear you out just watching. Baseball is a game of peaks and valleys - moments of calm, humor, and perfection punctuated by extreme stress - the rush. George Carlin described it much better than I ever can.

4. HOT ATHLETES YOU CAN SEE: OK. I'm not going to avoid the obvious fact that I am a woman and baseball players wear tight pants, flex their muscles and don't have to hide behind a protective mask, allowing me to see their face. Oh sure, sometimes they grow horrendous facial hair, spit and grab their crotch. But I think most guys do that stuff anyway. Baseball players are pretty damn cute. That isn't the reason I watch, but it is an awesome bonus.

5. THE CAMARADERIE: Wherever I go, I find baseball fans. The obvious spot for bonding with them is at the ballpark. Some are more passionate than others - but I don't begrudge those interested in learning. Those just looking to be seen and babble away on their cell phones deserve to be bonked on the head with a foul ball. I'm talking about the people who share in the fun of watching a game, evaluating the talent of the players, debating the decisions of the manager, proposing trade ideas, playing along virtually in fantasy leagues, making friendly wagers with rival fans and of course, being won over by the crowd's electricity at a live game. Every time I go to Fenway, I meet people like this. Fans of the game. People who want to learn, share and talk about my favorite hobby. Baseball. Here are a few of them I've met along the way. They allowed me to take their photo so I'm posting them here - in the context that they were taken - sharing a love of my favorite hobby...


We met this super-fan and her hubby/boyfriend at our local commuter rail station on the way into the game. When we came across them again later during the game we stopped by to hang out.


This little cutie's name is Tanner and he knew more about baseball than most grown fans I've met. His aunts brought him down to the game from New Hampshire as a special treat and he never stopped smiling, or giving us stats.


Jim & Catherine were visiting from Australia and barely knew the basic concept of baseball when the game started. They were so excited to be there and spent the whole game asking questions, learning how to sing Take Me Out To The Ballgame, and cheering very happily for the home team.


Travis & Sky were from Oklahoma I think? They were huge Sox fans and had always wanted to see Fenway. They didn't even mind the quirks of the ancient ballpark such as that support pole in their way. Our party shuffled around so they had a turn at an unobstructed view.


I didn't actually talk to this guy. I just thought his outfit was funny. He didn't look all that interested in the game. So I'm thinking baseball isn't his hobby. I usually try to convert them, but I'm thinking he should take up fashion as a hobby first.

We'll be wrapping up our Easter by tuning in to the Sox/Yankees game Sunday night on ESPN to kick off the season. We won't be at the park, saying cheers with $6 beers, but we'll be happy just the same. Now, how can I get paid to watch baseball????

13 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

That is awesome! I love the pictures of the spectators (especially the dude with the bad fashion!). It's like a slice of life. You've got me excited about the season just reading this!

~Bry~ said...

If you figure it out....Let me know! I would love to get paid to watch! This year I have Opening Day tickets to Atlanta Braves. And they are playing the CUBS! Which I could die for. I have even promised the kids I would go to Wrigley this year. 11 hours in the car with 2 kids......it would be so worth it!

Kim, Too said...

Maybe you could get a gig writing about baseball like J-Money. I'm not sure she gets paid to do this, but she might.

kaye said...

great post today, you almost persuade me to go to a ball game :)

LJ said...

Funny but I never thought of sports viewing as a hobby. I don't know why it never occurred to me. I consider myself educated today

Margot at Joyfully Retired said...

When I first saw the post title and the picture of beer I thought you were going to talk about your hobby of beer drinking. Sorry for that mistake. Baseball isn't my hobby but you make a very good case here. Now I wish I did like it.

Dave and Tami said...

Although I'm more of a football fan, I love to watch a good baseball game, too. When Dave took me to my first professional game (back in the day when a Royals game could be considered "professional")someone hit a grand-slam. I was watching the crowd rather than the game and missed it. Don't think Dave's ever gotten over it. :) Now days I've converted to a Rockies fan - but still dont' keep up very well. Thanks for sharing your hobby. And if you find someone paying for sleep - give me a shout!

Staci said...

Loved this post. I have a friend that has been a Tiger fan since she was a little girl. She's a teacher and you should see her classroom!! She gets season tickets, has met the players (several times), dresses up like them on Halloween!! I love your enthusiasm for the game!!

stacybuckeye said...

You almost made me a convert by the end! I do love going to a game but for some reason I've nevver been bitten by the baseball bug. I remember watchin basketball and football with my Dad when I was growing up but although he's a huge Yankees fan I don't remember watching any games with him. Curious.

otin said...

I think that one of the best things about baseball is that it puts an end to winter. Plus baseball is such a relaxing sport to watch. I love the fact that there is no time limit on the game and how each game takes on it's own personality!

Go Yanks!

Will said...

Once 30 years ago I worked at my hobby. Thing was that the hobby became work and I decided to change careers. To this day I still wonder if that was the right decision.

Never been to spring training. Bet it would be fun!

Anonymous said...

Great post, loved the pix, coming from a Yankee fan !

I live about 20 minute's from Ft myers where the Sox train.
Go Yanks !

Anonymous said...

At first I read the title as "why my HUBBY totally rocks" and since he is my brother I agree, but once I read the piece I re-read!!!
MKA