Are You Here for the Kielbasa?

25 Oct

BASEBALL. Let’s. Talk. Baseball.

Wow, did I actually type that? I think I just heard my dad call me “the son he never had” all the way from Concord. It’s going to be a good Christmas this year, everyone!

In the spirit of Red Sox Nation, I thought I would write a little bit about my relationship with baseball.

What do I love about baseball? Oh geez, where do I even start??!

No, seriously, someone tell me where to start…

Wait, why don’t I narrow this down and instead tell you what I love about going to Red Sox games. Yeah, I can do that.

Aah, the sweet smell of Italian sausage and peppers, as the fumes infiltrate my clothes and make them unre-wearable (a word I just invented to describe the state of clothing post exposure to sausage and peppers); those little Sports Sundaes you can buy for a week’s worth of pay (but at least you get to keep the free, miniature hat! Great for…stuffed animals and toy poodles); that man sitting next to me in a Bruins jersey, yelling something about democracy and trying to drunkenly inflate a beach ball; those tight little Grand Stand seats that make polygamists out of all of us…THIS is baseball.

Oh, and then I guess there’s the actual playing of the game. But here’s the thing: taking me to a baseball game is like putting a teething baby in a room full of plastic toys and telling it to sit still and pay attention to a lecture on molecular biology.

IT’S NOT EASY BEING A TEETHING BABY!

Baseball games are just way too over stimulating for me. I always start out with good intentions!

This is it! This is the game I am going to watch from start to finish, without interruption. Just me, the ball, and the Green Monstah.

But, inevitably, I always end up distracted by something.

Should I start with the soft pretzel and then get the sausage? Or, should the sausage be the main event and then the pretzel the “late night snack”? Screw it, I’ll just forget the sausage and peppers mission and get one of these bad boys:

Image

And BOOM. Just like that, Ortiz hits a grand slam and I’m sitting there with a ketchup- stained face, still debating the order in which I should eat my carbs.

Despite my *less than focused tendencies*, I really do enjoy Red Sox games. Yes, mostly for the food. But also because I want to be sporty! I want to kick back with a cold brewski (or a Diet Coke, for us babies) and enjoy the Great American Pastime!

I think my ardent desire to be a dedicated baseball fan has something to do with my upbringing. When I was six, I asked my dad what would happen if I rooted for the Yankees. (For the record, I knew I was pushing my luck with this question, but I felt like living on the edge.)

“You would be disowned,” my dad replied, without missing a beat.

His response pretty much sealed my fate. I knew I would never even CONSIDER sporting any other colors but red and white.

And, for the most part, I’ve been a dedicated fan! Sure, I tend to choose romantic comedies over baseball games… and sure, I took a Yankees fan to a Red Sox vs. Cardinals game at Fenway for her birthday this year. (Sorry, Bonnie. But hey, we got kielbasa!)

Despite these minor transgressions, some of the most formative memories I have relate to baseball:

Spring Training, Florida, 2003:

We’re sitting in the stands when Johnny Damon hits a homerun. The ball comes whooshing through the air and I see my 11 years of life flash before my eyes as it approaches our section. But it doesn’t hit me! No, it hits my aunt right in the forearm. The ball ricochets off her arm and some old dude grabs it before any of us can. My aunt’s arm is fine, and I learn an important lesson about capitalism.

Fenway Park, 2007:

I’m at the game with my dad and sisters and the obnoxious man – probably wearing a Bruins jersey and inflating a beach ball – sitting behind us keeps spilling beer all over our legs. My dad turns around and yells at him. It is the first time I’ve ever heard my dad drop the F bomb, and it is F*%K&*G AWESOME.

Concord, MA, World Series, 2004:

It’s the last game of the World Series and I’ve managed to sleep through a solid 2/3 of it. But, right as Pedro Martinez makes the winning out, I awaken from my deep slumber, throw my foam finger in the air, and yell “holy shit!” I don’t get scolded, and I get to go into school late the next morning. My first taste of rebellion, and it tastes so sweet.

Concord, MA, Youth Softball (almost baseball, right?) 2006:

I hit my first (and only) ball in the history of my FOUR YEAR softball career. (I’m not kidding. ONE HIT in four years. But hey, at least I wasn’t that kid who ate grass in the outfield…often.) It is a foul ball. I debate throwing my bat in the air to symbolize my frustration, but instead settle on quitting softball.

So you see? I really AM a wicked big baseball fan. And Wednesday night – GAME ONE OF THE 2013 WORLD SERIES – was no exception.

My friends, Laura and Alex, and I marched down to Fenway to see if we could get in on the action for free (and by that I mean hear Mary J Blige sing the National Anthem from the “squatters” section behind Fenway):

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We actually made a couple of squatter friends!

To Big Dave, the man who photobombed our picture: we’re gonna get you next time, buddy!

To Hairy Hank, the dude who asked me for a cigarette: it’s time to quit, man! What would Jacoby say about that nasty habit?

And to the guy who slyly tried to sell us scalped tickets: really, sir? I’m pretty sure you drew those with crayons…

Also, did you know that they fly jets over Fenway before the games? BECAUSE I DIDN’T… THAT was an effing wakeup call.

Anyway, we got to see the Fenway scene (and what a scene it was!) and then watched the game on my TV at home.

And you know what? I WATCHED THE ENTIRE GAME.

The Red Sox should probably just give me my “Number One Fan” box seats now.

And if anyone’s asking, I’ll take a kielbasa.

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One Response to “Are You Here for the Kielbasa?”

  1. lornalikiza October 25, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    Very interesting.Congrats for finally watching the entire game eventually 😉

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