I love my Redbirds. I have been a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals since I was a child growing up in Texas (back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, who wanted to cheer for the Astros or Texas, let alone look at those uniforms). I wear my Cardinals hat and jersey with pride. Not as much as a soldier wears their uniform, but close.
But inside that jersey and hat, is my heart, which first and foremost loves the game of baseball. As a child, I grew up wearing several team shirts. The Bugs Bunnys in T-ball. My Dad was a good sport as coach and even wore a shirt and cap. He made it cool to wear. (Thank you Dad for that memory!). Then it was some purple jersey after that. I can not even remember the name of the team, but I do remember that we got to start wearing baseball pants…TOO cool. Next came the Mets in little league division (given that I am a Cardinals guy now, I find it traumatic that I wore the “Pond Scum” jersey). Even though my Dad knows how to properly wear a baseball cap and looks good in it, I specifically remember that he never donned a Mets cap. He has his standards, which is thankfully has passed down to me. Next was senior league, where we were the Astros…not the cool looking Astros of today…the Astros of the 1980’s, where you felt sorry for Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott, and Jose Cruz for having to wear such atrocious attire.
So even though thoughout my wonderful childhood baseball career I never got to wear a cool uniform such as the Yankees, White Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, Tigers, or Cardinals…I was still playing baseball. The uniforms were hidious, but it was still the game of baseball. True to the code, to play the game. Back then, there was no ESPN, no MLB games on everyday. There was NBC Game of the Week on Saturday afternoon. I know ABC tried Monday night baseball for awhile, but it never took off.
Sure, we had (affordable) baseball cards and the Sunday morning sports page with every player’s stats taking up a whole page, but that was it. And it was wonderful. Baseball was not the be all end all of a kids life, but a perfect compliment to a kid’s summer.
Guess what. I grew up…somewhat.
I LOVE the advancement of technology. To be able to watch any game on TV. To listen to every radio broadcast on the computer or XM radio. To get updates on scores or statistics at anytime, from anywhere. no more carrying the sports page to work for “library reading”. forget that! Print it off the computer and grab it off the printer on the way to the library now baby!
That’s where it stops and my childhood heart for the game takes over. My old school way of thinking is there should not be any team in the World Series other than the original 16 teams.
Since 1984, the following teams have made it to the Series…
San Diego Padres (twice)
Kansas City Royals
Toronto Blue Jays (Twice)
New York Mets (Twice)
The Los Angeles California Angels of Anahiem
This year, the Tampa Rays are playing for the American League pennant If you are not familiar with the term “pennant”, you should be ashamed of yourself. Go slink away and stick to what you know best…reality shows and pro wrestling.
The Rays. A team (along with the Florida Marlins)named after a fish that nobody outside a southern state that borders an ocean knows what that is, or cares.
Now lets forget for a moment that baseball is watered down 100% of talent with double the amount of teams playing. My issue at playoff time is that there is a national fascade of love and knowledge for the game. Most people that tune have know idea who the players are for each team. When I was a kid, I knew most of them. When my dad was kid, he knew all of them (Keep in mind they didn’t have money-laden playoffs back then. the winner of the AL and the NL met for the World Series).
Think I am full of it? Name the starting rotation of the Rays pitching staff. Name the other two outfielders for the Dodgers other than Manny Ramirez. Can’t do it without thinking about it and finally looking it up, eh?
As of 10/7/2008, we have the Dodgers vs. Phillies in the NL and the Red Sox vs. the Rays (aka the “effin” fish of Florida) in the AL. I do not care who wins the NL pennant (you better have looked it up from before if you didn’t know) as long as it is a good series.
But I am pulling for the Red Sox in the AL. I want them to sweep and get it over with. PLEASE RED SOX, win it for the non-boston-Fan-but-fan-of-real-baseball-teams fan.