Beisbol Been Berry Berry Good to Me
I was never much of a baseball fan. Always looked like a bunch of standing around. My brother-in-law moved to St. Louis and started showing a big interest in the Cardinals about 5 years ago. So I started sort of following the Cardinals, but not really still understanding the sport, and still not really getting into it.
A few years later, in 2003, my Dad moves to Missouri. He has every Cardinal game available to watch on the local FOX Sports affiliate. He has hernia surgery, so he starts watching the Cubs on WGN. Suddenly, he is the biggest Cubs fan. This, of course, is the year when the Cubs piss the final two games of the NL championship series down their collective leg, and the Marlins went on to top the Yankees. Suddenly, my son has a Cubs hat, and I have a fitted Cubs hat that no longer fits him. At this point I'm still leaning towards the Cardinals.
In 2005, the White Sox won the World Series. What is interesting about this is that at the time I was living in central Illinois. I was 2 hours from St. Louis, and 3 hours from Chicago. I would say that in this part of Illinois there are just a few more Cardinals fans than Cub fans, but I never took an official survey. I arrived at this opinion through keen observation of hats, flags from both houses and cars, t-shirts, and some minor sports conversations. I see one White Sox flag hanging from a house, and a Commiskey Park photo in an Occupational Health Doctor's office. Nobody in my immediate area seems to give a shit.
In 2006, I moved to northwest Indiana. The company I work for hands out White Sox tickets every month (they buy 4 season tickets and hand out 2 pair for each game, including a parking pass and a pass to get into the Stadium Club). I began checking out the games on TV. I actually start seeing the strategy of putting in different pitchers and different batters later in the game (instead of saying, "The only time someone comes out of a football game is either when they're hurt or the game is in hand. Why can't pitchers finish an entire game?"). When I went to U.S. Cellular for the first time, I was amazed at how big it felt. It was totally awesome. It was kind of cool out, but it was nice to be able to spend time outdoors and actually enjoy being in Chicago. I was hooked.
I got my first set of tickets for April 27, which is a Friday. I'm so glad baseball season is finally here.