When I was a girl I somehow ended up with a Mark McGuire baseball card. I thought for sure it must be valuable because they mentioned his name on TV. He was pretty much the only MLB player I knew. And that was fine, because baseball was boring and all that mattered was that I had his baseball card.
When I started dating Brandon 10 years ago, I still cared nothing about baseball. Brandon was honest with me. He told me that there were a few things he had loved longer than he had loved me: The Simpsons, pugs and the San Francisco Giants. Although I didn't particularly care for any of them, I was willing to accept that these were all a part of who he was. It was easy to "let" him have his love of baseball; we mostly had a long distance relationship so I didn't have to spend a lot of time with baseball. When the Giants went to the World Series in 2002, I was happily living in Spain, oblivious to the great American past time.
Then we got married.
Did you know that each team plays 162 baseball games during the regular season? From April to October there is rarely a night where the Giants aren't playing. I was tortured. I thought watching baseball on TV was about the most boring way to spend my time.
A couple of years ago Brandon took me to a Giants game. Most baseball parks are beautiful and AT&T Park is no exception. I love being there on sunny afternoons or cold San Francisco nights. I love watching homeruns splash into McCovey cove or into the bleachers. I saw Barry Bonds tie the record for most homeruns in a season. I love garlic fries, hot dogs and beer. I loved my first Giants/Dodgers game where I learned what the "rivalry" was all about.
Mostly I love that my husband never got frustrated with me for not understanding the game or when I would get bored. Instead Brandon took the time to help me understand the game, explaining the rules, the strategy and the passion that makes baseball exciting. He let me buy Giants gear in pink, which I have slowly replaced with the true colors of orange and black. And now here I am, years later, and I find myself watching baseball when I am by myself. I listen to Giants radio in the morning and the in afternoon. I know the names of the TV broadcasters, the radio broadcasters and the pre and post games hosts. I can name the players, their positions and some sort of personal note about them.
In short, I am a San Francisco Giants fan.
And tonight the Giants have a chance to clench the playoffs by defeating the San Diego Padres. My heart is all atwitter as I suddenly know what it feels like to be a real fan. I have been listening to Giants radio for weeks. I am asking Brandon a hundred questions about playoff scenarios and team records and things that just a couple of years ago I cared nothing about.
So my friends, put on your brightest orange shirt for Orange Friday. Because tonight birthday boy Matt Cain is going to put away the San Diego Padres and I am going to know what it feels like for the first time to see "my" team go to the playoffs.