You Mean This is Real?

It hardly comes as a secret that I am a baseball fan. Most of my wardrobe has either an A or a D on it in the shape of the Arizona Diamondbacks logo. I have a tie with baseballs all over it and dress socks that have the Diamondbacks logo on them for when I have to dress up. I have over 35 different Diamondbacks hats so I don’t have to wear the same hat two days in a row for a month. I’ve got season tickets to the Diamondbacks and with the exception of that three game series with the Los Angeles Angels where I had to be in Orlando because Trina refused to spend her twenty-fifth wedding anniversary at Chase Field and that one game where I had to be in San Francisco for a meeting I have not missed a game this year. I’m a fixture in Section 108 and I know most of the ushers at the ballpark by first name. But even with all of this overwhelming data I still get people who ask if I am really a baseball fan.

Last night my daughters Tiffany and Whitney had a group of their friends come over for a swimming party. There were approximately 20 giggling teen-age girls running around the pool mostly just driving me crazy. I was trying desperately to maintain some kind of sanity and therefore was trying to hide in the house as much as possible. I should note here that I was not ignoring children in the pool area. There were several parents that were in attendance so the swimmers were definitely safe. Besides, how could I possibly be required to be out by the pool when the Diamondbacks were playing on television?

Just because the team is out of town doesn’t mean that you can’t support them. Now Trina may argue that I have gone beyond the support line into obsession since not only do I watch the game on television but I also record it to Tivo so I can watch it afterwards and assess how players were doing and where the critical decisions were in the game. I tend to think of this as a healthy interest in the nuances of the game. Anyways, I was in the house with my Diamondbacks hat on and my Diamondbacks jersey sitting in my Bank One Ballpark seat next to the basket of baseballs that had been retrieved at the games. On the wall hung the poster of the first pitch in Arizona Diamondbacks history and the framed photograph of me throwing out the first pitch in 1998. You know, just being an average guy watching a game on television. This sight is probably no different than any other home in America. Just as the top of the seventh inning concluded I got up to get another bag of peanuts when one of the mothers to one of the girls at the party came in to use the phone. She looked around the house and at me. Trina was just behind her and the woman turned to Trina and asked, “So is he watching baseball?” Trina acknowledged that yes I was watching the game. As the woman took in the row of Diamondbacks bobblehead dolls and the pennants hanging on the walls Trina tried to explain, “This is what I refer to as the Diamondbacks shrine.” The woman looked at me then she turned to Trina and in a sympathetic tone said, “So it really is true. I thought he was making these stories up but he really does do the things you said he did.” And then before I could say anything, the woman put her arm on Trina’s shoulder and the walked away consoling one another. I’m not sure but I think I was being dissed there. I would have stopped to ask what was up with that but the inning was beginning and I didn’t want to miss a pitch.

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