I love baseball. I played baseball as a kid, but I didn’t have much talent for baseball or any other sport, but I still played and dreamed. I stopped playing when I was 15, the summer of ’77, but I never lost the love for the game. As a kid, the season began with tryouts in March and games twice a week or maybe, three times a week through early June. It’s a long season for a kid but short in comparison to the season the professionals who play 162 regular season games and maybe get three days off in a month.
My son, W, played before switching to lacrosse, and my daughter played one year of T-ball (baseball without pitching) with boys before she made the transition to softball.
I’ve rooted for several teams over the years, but my home team is the Astros, the Houston Astros. When I was a kid, the Astros weren’t very good they lost more than they won, but when I was a high school they seemed to turn things around and won the division in 1980 with a one game playoff win against the LA Dodgers and they won the division six years later in 1986. Both times they played well in the LCS (League Championship Series) but not well enough to make to the World Series. They wouldn’t make it to the World Series until 2005 and I was living in Chicagoland. They played the Chicago White Sox and lost in four close games. I’ve always been an Astros baseball fan.
I am grateful for late mother-in-law who helped me regain my love for the game. We were Up North in July 2013 and she wanted to listen to her team, the Reds, the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds don’t broadcast Up North, that’s Detroit Tiger country so I ended up resorting to technology and got a subscription to the MLB app and unlimited audio streaming. The first game we listened to was a no-hitter. The following summer, in 2014, I upgraded to the video version of the app and we were able to watch a couple of games when she made her last visit Up North. She passed away in November 2015 and one of my lasting memories with her was talking with her about baseball and football, but especially about her Reds.
Every year since I’ve renewed my subscription for the MLB app and I always think of her when watch the Reds, I root for the Reds when they aren’t playing the Astros and it helps they are in separate leagues.
This spring I made an impulsive purchase and purchased two monthly passes to see all of April’s games for the Chicago White Sox. I don’t follow the Sox, but they are in the American League and the Astros will play them later in the year, and I prefer the Sox to the Cubs – any day of the week. Of the 11 games, I had a pass to see, I was able to make it to two games – one with my son and another with a friend. It was time well spent.
At the end of April, I went to visit my mom and my brothers, but mostly my mom. The Astros were at home and I coaxed my brother to take in a game with me before I left. We were able to see the first four innings before I had to leave and drive to the airport, but it was worth it. We had a good time. The Astros lost the game to the Oakland A’s 2-1.
With my visit to Minutemaid Park, I have watched baseball in 7 of the 30 stadiums currently hosting MLB teams and I’ve seen two more teams in their home stadiums but those stadiums have been replaced and have since been demolished – San Francisco and Atlanta. In all, I’ve watched professional baseball in ten different stadiums.
I had planned to visit Kansas City to see the Astros play later this week, but my plans have changed and I’ll have to watch them with the app or listen. Either way I won’t be adding to my stadiums visited this week or next, but it’s a long season.
It’s a long summer, too. Today is the first day of summer vacation. Yesterday, I entered a couple of final grades and packed up my classroom for the year. I don’t have 162 days of summer or even 104 as days of summer vacation as the song Today is Gonna Be a Great Day claims,
There’s a hundred and four days of summer vacation,
‘Till school comes along just to end it,
So the annual problem for our generation,
Is finding a good way to spend it
Bowling for Soup “Today is Gonna be a Great Day
I began the morning sitting outside, sipping coffee, listening to the birds sing, and reading a book.
This summer vacation I have 76 days. My students have 82 and my daughter has 83. The number of days isn’t important, it is what you do with them. What I do with them. I’ve got BIG PLANS for summer – I usually do. The plans always include rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation for the coming year but I have a lot of makeup work, too, work I didn’t get to in the school year and promised my wife I’d get to it when summer vacation arrived. There is travel and the lake and hopefully a baseball game or two, or three or more. But, I am not going to push it, it’s a long season and a long summer and it starts today. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, one morning sitting outside listening to the birds sing in the day.
How did you begin your day?
Here is my baseball log, in case you are interested…..
|Venue, city||Year||Home Team||Visiting Team|
|Houston Astrodome *
|1970-1980s||Houston Astros||Too many to recall:
LA Dodgers, New York Mets
|Atlanta Fulton County
|April 1986||Atlanta Braves||Houston Astros|
|Candlestick Park **
San Francisco, California
|1987-1987||San Francisco Giants||Houston Astros, LA
Dodgers, Chicago Cubs (LCS – 1989), Oakland A’s (WS – Game 3)
|Alameda County Stadium
|1989||Oakland A’s||Don’t recall|
|Ranger Stadium **
|1990||Texas Rangers||Don’t recall|
|1993-present||Chicago Cubs||Colorado Rockies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros, Cincinnati Reds|
|Cellular One Field\Guaranteed Rate Field
|2007 – present||Chicago White Sox||Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, and others|
San Diego, California
|July 2009||San Diego Padres||Houston Astros, LA Dodgers|
|April 2014||Detroit Tigers||Kansas City Royals|
|April 2016||Milwaukee Brewers||Houston Astros|
|April 2017||Houston Astros||Oakland A’s|
* stadium is still standing, but no longer in use
** stadium has been demolished and replaced