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#Blogathon Guest Post from Michael Clair of Old Time Family Baseball

#Blogathon Guest Post from Michael Clair of Old Time Family Baseball

A Favorite Baseball Memory? You’ll Have a Hard Time Narrowing It Down

By Michael Clair
It’s hard to choose a favorite baseball memory, especially when baseball and my life have remained intertwined for as long as I’ve been a conscious human being. Do I choose the first Opening Day I remember, staying up late to watch Raul Mondesi and the Dodgers play the Florida Marlins, having prepared all morning by organizing my baseball cards into ziplock bags? Or is it the years my Dad coached Little League and the endless drills he’d have us run, knowing that he just read them in a book twenty minutes ago, because he had plenty of love for me, but none for the game?
I know what it’s not–the wiffleball game that I took a little too seriously,taking my sister out with a wipeout slide and injuring her arm (Sorry, sis). Or the Little League town championship where I got my required at-bat (I went 1-for-17 and committed about 30,000 errors in right field during the season) and struck out on three pitches, the coach telling me “that was the best at-bat I’ve seen you take all year.”The problem is, there are too many memories. My life is measured less in years and more in seasons.Ken Griffey Jr and the Seattle Mariners upset the New York Yankees when I was in third grade, warring with a teacher who docked me points for writing too many pages on creative writing assignments.

I was ten years old, at home with a teenager from down the street while my parents were out to dinner, when, at a little after nine o’clock, Mark McGwire hit a laser down the left field line to break Roger Maris‘ record. And while McGwire paraded around the field, embracing Sammy Sosa in his enormous arms, I ran around the house, my babysitter trying vainly to keep me from breaking things.

My last year of Little League, where I didn’t enjoy baseball for the first time in my life, was also my first year of middle school, a dark period marked by an unironic enjoyment of Korn and Limp Bizkit. I must imagine that those two moments are connected.

Aaron Boone‘s home run off of Tim Wakefield to end the 2003 ALCS happened while I was up late trying to finish a paper for my English class. The Red Sox World Series run the next year coming during rehearsals for the school musical in which I was Moonface Martin in Anything Goes.

In 2005, I watched the Chicago White Sox sweep the Houston Astros on a 13 inch television while eating steak subs with my freshman year roommate. This was the same year that I started reading Baseball Prospectus and stopped saying things like “I don’t care about walks. I care about RBI,” thanks to that same roommate.

In 2006, I spent two weeks following around the independent Atlantic League’s Road Warriors, a team without a home stadium, being the only people in the stands besides the players’ girlfriends or parents to cheer for them. It afforded us a kind of cult status, even if it was bizarre and perhaps terrifying for the players when we ran into them at the team hotel after their game in Camden, New Jersey.

In 2008, I drove across the country with three friends, making stops in Baltimore for an Orioles game, where a man essentially plied me with beer so he could make fun of me in front of his date, Chicago for Wrigley and Old Styles, and Milwaukee for bobbleheads and CC Sabathia. That fall, in between being an unpaid intern, I’d travel to Dodger Stadium for the first time, finally seeing the place that I’d heard Vin Scully describe so many times before.

I’ve seen Bryce Harper‘s first game, Mike Trout commit an error in his first weekend, and David Ortiz hug a man between first and second of a doubleplay. I’ve made lifelong friends through baseball, cried when I missed my name on the Jumbotron during my 7th birthday and traveled around Arizona taking in two spring training games a day with my saint of a mother.

Just as I can’t have a favorite lazy Sunday or a beloved trip to the grocery store, I can’t have a favorite memory. Baseball is simply a part of my life, one that I spend too much money and time on, but one that’s there every single summer day nonetheless. It may not be as essential as air, or food, but it’s certainly up there with indoor plumbing and human companionship.

Michael Clair writes Old Time Family Baseball and contributes to the Platoon Advantage. Follow him on Twitter @clairbearattack.

About #Blogathon Guest Post
This post was contributed by a guest for our #Blogathon. You can find more information about the author within the actual post. We'd like to thank everyone who contributed in our effort to raise money for The V Foundation.

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