My first MASN guest blogger post of the 2016 baseball season will be published on Friday morning. It references a 2011 Roar from 34 post I wrote for my son shortly after he was born. I’m re-posting it here and wondering where the last five years went.
Orioles baseball has been a conversation between generations in my family, one that now includes my newborn son. We watched the Orioles home opener on television together on Monday. While he and I couldn’t discuss the game, his first Opening Day provided me an opportunity to consider some life lessons I might teach him as a baseball fan. This is what I came up with:
-I want you to be an independent thinker, so be a fan of any team you want. Just know that you’ll make it much harder on your daddy if you cheer for the Yankees. And I’m the one who pays the bills.
-You’re going to hear about ballpark fights and fans acting like fools. Keep in mind that there are good people at the ballpark, too. Hopefully you’ll come across some of them – the guy who gives a kid a foul ball he caught, offers up his extra tickets, or buys you a soda at the game simply because you’re sitting next to him. Better yet, be one of them.
-Your team is going to lose, maybe even a lot. (Daddy should know.) That’s okay. You’ll learn to support people even when they let you down.
-It doesn’t matter whether you’re a player or an umpire’s attendant, your role is important. Do your job well enough for long enough, and maybe someone will notice. Either way, be sure to be a person who notices.
-Sometimes you’re going to get booed regardless of whether you deserve it.
-Baseball can be boring. When it is, be grateful for the opportunity to sit still.
-On occasion, other people will try to frustrate you, even in your home ballpark. Focus on who you came with and who’ll be with you after you leave. Enjoy your time with them.
-The guys you’re watching now aren’t the first ones to play the game. Learn the names of the ones who came before them.
-You’re inevitably going to endure some tough times, so be sure to enjoy the good moments while they last. Go O’s.
Update: The Baseball Bloggess, whose tagline “Loves the 4-6-3 and the Serial Comma” is one of my favorites, asked for an updated photo. Here’s my big guy on Opening Day this year.