Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Lessons From All-Star Week

The baseball All-Star Game was here in San Francisco last week and I took part in the festivities and learned some things:
1. I love baseball.
When I was a kid I followed baseball, collected cards, went to games with my dad, listened to Hally Kallas and Richie Ashburn call the Phillies game on the radio and I loved it. Then I went to college and got away from it. Oh I still went to a game here or there but mostly it was just to drink overpriced beer and sit outside but after All-Star week, I realized I missed being involved.
Now does this mean I will start wearing a Cubs jersey and memorizing reliever's ERA's?; I doubt it.
Does it mean I will start listening to more games on the radio on my way home from work or leaving the Giants on the TV when there is nothing else on? Absolutely.
Will I pick a new favorite team? Yes.
Will it be my childhood favorites the Astros or the Blue Jays? Probably not since they changed their uniform, but a team will be picked by the end of the year. I'm leaning towards the Angels, but don't tell my wife that.
2. I am a nerd.
I waited in line for 4 hours at the FanFest to be ignored by Juan Marichal while he signed my baseball, read the multitude of rules Rollie Fingers had set up for the autograph he signed, and be pleasantly surprised by the outgoing Tony Gwynn. The wait was hell but when I got up there I geeked out and got all excited that I got to talk with Rollie, one of my all time favorite players, and just to be in the presence of Hall of Famers. Starfucking? A little. Connecting with guys who I looked up to growing up. A lot. I wish my dad would have been there but I'm glad Denis was.
3. The Home Run Derby is really boring.
$125 gets you into the most dragged out glorified batting practice you'll ever see. It was cool to be in the stadium all done up for the big game and to see all of those players in the special American League and National League uniforms and of course to see guys kill the baseball, but it goes on way to long with too much nothing in between. My advice to those thinking of going to next years Derby in New York...make sure you have someone to talk to cause there's a lot of time to do it. And to the guy who was sitting next to me, put the Blackberry away and explain to your kid, without frustration the rules of the Derby and enjoy the day with him.
4. Go hang out, even if you don't have a ticket.
Between the FanFest which was cool and reasonably priced and the crowd hanging around the stadium waiting to get in, trying to find tickets, selling crap, or just hanging out, it's fun to be a part of. There were so many people outside of the stadium who had no intention of going inside but still wanted to be a part of the day and the game and it made for a very fun time.
5. Wait until the day after the game to buy your merch.
I should have figured this but all of the vendors outside the stadium had to pack up their All-Star Game merchandise and move on so the discounts were big. I of course paid the full price inside the stadium. They don't sell most of the official stuff anywhere after the game so bargains are available..the day after.
6. Barry Bonds is still a jerk.
'Nuff said.