Why I Love Baseball is a nine week series that is posted on Tuesdays. In its final week, this series focuses on fans.
Last night a friend and I drove up to Chicago to watch his team take on mine. While we were getting situated in our seats we noticed that one of the men sitting behind us was wearing a suit and a straw hat similar to the ones that were popular around the turn of the last century. The man was keeping score on a large score book that, as I later found out, had multiple games from seasons past.
While sitting there for an inning listening to them talk about the game, it was apparent that they really love baseball. As the game progressed I overheard one of them make a comment that I completely disagreed with, and from that point I was engaged in a conversation about baseball that lasted for the final 7 1/2 innings of the game. It made the game more memorable and I'd be lying if I said this was the first time something like this happened.
That's what I love about baseball though, the fans. There seems to be a different sort of comradery amongst baseball fans as opposed to fans of other sports. Perhaps it's the pace of the game which allows for conversation.
We're also a different breed of fan. Baseball fans are the nerds of the sports world. Don't believe me? Explain why we obsess about stats, come up with new ways of measuring the output of players, score the games from our seats and why we're so caught up in the history/tradition of the game. Hell, Nintendo is a part owner of the Mariners. We're nerds, embrace it.
For nine weeks I've explained why I love baseball, but since this post is about baseball fans I believe I should let other fans tell you why they love baseball.
It's a childish game. When watching baseball, the ability to think like a child is needed. It has the ability to mystify you with the way it's played. I think that as a person get older, the ability to think as if they were a child is more necessary. Baseball has the ability to put us in that mindset, and for that, it's beautiful.-Nate Rose, fellow Sixty Feet, Six Inches writer
The game itself is nearly perfect, with outs as the clock. As such, Truth lies within baseball's very foundation. Rare, that.-Rocco DeMaro, host of Extra Innings with Rocco DeMaro
Ever since I was a little girl I have always been so passionate about baseball. The reason I love baseball so much is just the love of the game and you never know what's going to happen. The smell of the green grass, once you step on the mound, waiting for the ball to get to you. Baseball is an amazing game that has ever been invented. My favorite team since I was born, The Boston Red Sox. Go Sox!-Ada Ruiz
There is something about that feeling of stepping on the field and listening to the two words that tells everyone it's game time, play ball. Even though my career is over my love still translates to the game today with the Rays. The flawless turning of a double play or a great piece of two strike, two out hitting to get home the runner from third just blows my mind.-Brett Ballard of Trop Talk
Nothing makes me more happy and makes my day more than watching a victory from the Rays. And on the flip side nothing makes me more angry then seeing no offense or a poor pitching performance from a starter. It is a nine inning game of happiness or anger and for something that has that much power over me I must love it.
The game is so in depth. It is such an intricate game that you can never stop learning and gaining knowledge about. At the same time, it is so simple. Simple enough for young children to get into and understand. In other sports you have the players on the main professional teams and that's it, there is no lower levels that develop players. In baseball you have the minor leagues where you can watch your team's young talent grow and develop to become big league players. It really makes you feel close to the team and to the game, when you can watch a guy get drafted at age 19 and then work his way up the system and join the big league team when he's 23. You really know about him and really feel connected with him, instead of just learning about him the day before the draft and then hoping he works out with your main team immediately.-Jon Anderson of The "Mc" Effect
Another reason is that the game relaxes me. Many people say it's dull or boring, but I say that those people are dull and boring. The game is beautiful. You can sit down and really take it all in. There are spurts of action and spurts of down time, but it's a perfect mix. Sometimes the game with the least action (the pitchers duels) are the ones I enjoy the most. Pitching is such an art and it is intriguing to watch.
I've loved sharing my reasons for loving this great game with you, but these are only nine reasons out of the countless amounts I came up with. As I grow older, I know my love for baseball will only grow with each story I hear and every game that I hear/see.
I hope to those of you who haven't really been into baseball, that this series sparked some interest within you. For those you love the game as much as I do, I hope you enjoyed reading the opinions of another fan and that it may have given you new things to love about the game we adore.