April 27, 2008

The Dream

Unlike many baseball fans, I have not been following the sport my entire life. My fandom has not been passed down through the generations. I have no heart-warming memories of afternoons at the ballpark while my father drank beer and shouted profanities at the umpires.

women in baseballQuite the opposite, in fact: I couldn’t have told you the difference between the AL and the NL until I was 22, my family was primarily peopled with hippies who couldn’t have conceived of the loss of identity that would have come with donning a uni, and my father rarely drank anything at all, unless you count wheat juice and linseed oil.

But when Griffey came to Cincinnati in 2000, my husband’s long-dormant baseball fanatic re-emerged and soon I found myself a regular attendee at baseball games. I had a lot to learn, such as the rules of the game, and I depended on my Crack Baseball-Rules Staff to get me through. Fortunately for me, Jonny was a relatively patient co-game-attendee and helped me get up to speed on the basics.

However, I took notice of other baseball newbies in the stands–mostly women–who also were counting on their significant others to help them learn the game, usually with much more condescension and annoyance. And at the office, I saw women unable to participate in the water-cooler sports talk because they didn’t have the requisite knowledge to come up with something witty.

Enter Red Hot Mama. After her primary goal of getting my sense of humor back (a horrible job had me to the brink of chronic wet-blanket-hood) was another goal of serving the community of would-be female fans. Don’t know Adam Dunn from Adam? Check out the Human League. Need a quick summary of last night’s game? Read the Game Wraps. Want something smart-alecky to say when the Angels fan in your office keeps complaining that all the other California teams get all the media attention? I recommend, “Maybe they should try changing their name.”

Which is why I’m pleased to be listed among the informational sports blogs by women in The Sports Diva Magazine. Go girls!

2 comments to “The Dream”

  1. rpa says:

    as someone who has spent a fair amount of time teaching his wife the little bit he knows about the game… i think this is great.

    she’s picked up my passion for baseball, i think. she actually asked me today (when i was blathering on about BABIP) if pitchers really had any control over their ground-ball/fly-ball ratio! (it doesn’t hurt that her job as a medical researcher has made her very good (and very skeptical) when it comes to statistics).

    in any case, i’m happy i was able to teach my wife a few of the finer points about the game… and now, she’s actually HAPPY that we have tickets to about 30 reds games this year, and even surprises me from time to time with her analysis (a few days ago, she pointed out to me that she didn’t think patterson was a good leadoff hitter because his on base percentage was lower than most of the other players on the team! what a proud moment that was!).

    so, yeah, learn the game. the more fans there are, the more fun it is.

  2. BubbaFan says:

    Congratulations! Very cool.

    I, too, came late to baseball. (But I never felt left out at the watercooler, because my dad made sure I was well-educated in what he feels is the only real sport: football.)

    My conversion to baseball was gradual, and I owe it in large part to an older female friend who made me watch baseball games whenever we were together. (She’s a Pirates fan, but I don’t hold it against her. ;-) She was always willing to answer my dumb questions with remarkable patience, and never made me feel stupid for asking. (Sample: “If the closer’s so good, why doesn’t he just pitch the whole game?”)

    She in turn became a baseball fan because her aunt loved baseball and took her to games at Forbes Field when she was little. One day I’ll have to ask her how her aunt became a baseball fan.