My boy joined a pony league baseball team this year. It’s been a lot of fun, doing something so traditional and “American.” And it’s raised one question.

How did I get to know so much about baseball?

I was never much of a baseball fan growing up. Nothing personal. My dad was (and is) a Phillies’ fan, so if we watched games, we watched the Phillies, and I’ll even date myself by noting this was before interleague play. I remember a few names: Tug McGraw, Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt, Von Hayes and for some reason, Manny Trillo. I remember them winning the World Series in 1980, and George Brett and the Kansas City Royals and a scandal about pine tar on the bat. But that was pretty much it.

Now I did play catch, don’t get me wrong. Dad taught me. 🙂

A few years later I found hockey and got into that. I rooted for the Flyers, borrowed all seven books the library had. I fell away from hockey in college and grad school, and got back into it via the Capitals.

When I lived in the DC area, the Nationals were still the Expos, and so it was the Orioles who got all the press and coverage. They were American League. My reaction: who the hell are these people? Never mind the players — I barely recognized the names of the teams. I got on board with Cal Ripken, Jr., and his streak, and watched the games where he tied and broke Lou Gehrig’s record of consecutive games played. I mean, come on; not a dry eye in the house. I even made it to some games at Camden Yards (an excellent park).

And I met my husband, a life-long Orioles’ fan. We watched games, went to games, and somehow I picked a few things up.

I noticed this while playing some catch with the boy. Suddenly I’m advising him to watch the ball into his glove; cover with the other hand to make sure it stays; get his glove on the ground to get the grounders; step and throw quickly so as not to lose time in getting the out at first instead of making the exaggerated pitcher-type move that all the kids want to do.

Excuse me?

So between Dad and the O’s, somehow it all stuck. I honestly didn’t know how much I knew, or could put together, about baseball until I’m out on the front lawn, advising the boy to hold his glove this way or that, and giving pointers on his batting stance. And every time I do this, I’m amazed that I know it.

Wouldn’t Dad be proud?



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