I was raised to love baseball.
My dad grew up in the Philadelphia area, and is a huge sports fan. Naturally, he passed along his fandom to us.
Yes, that’s correct. I’m a Philadelphia sports fan. And proud of it.
I’ll follow the Eagles, the Flyers, the 76ers… but I’ve always had a special love for the Phillies.
Every summer during my childhood was spent in Pennsylvania visiting my grandma, aunt, uncle and cousins. We would spend a week in Ocean City New Jersey- our days consisting of boogie boarding and building sand palaces, and our nights consisting of my aunt’s wonderful cooking and watching the Phillies.
Typically, our week at the beach would fall during their annual June slump, but we never left without at least a few late game dramatics. I have vivid memories of my dad and uncle predicting walk-off home runs by the most unlikely of bench players, only to go crazy moments later when it actually happened. We always said they missed their callings as sports commentators.
We would go to The Vet and sit in the 700 level with the rowdy fans. We’d buy pistachios from the best pistachio-selling lady in all of sports. We’d laugh at the Philly Phanatic. I even caught a foul ball at a game on my 8th birthday. My dad and I were sitting in my uncle’s season ticket seats. He never let me live that one down.
As a junior in college, I watched Brad Lidge complete his perfect save season and clinch the 2008 World Series by striking out Eric Hinske while listening to Harry Kalas call the whole thing. I was curled up on my couch, eyes locked on the TV screen, holding my breath, by myself. When they won, I immediately called my dad and brother with tears in my eyes and our voices were all collectively shaking with excitement.
That Christmas, my brother got the 2008 Phillies season video as a present and we all huddled around the couch to re-live the glory again. When it ended, we were all misty-eyed.
Often times, living in Texas, I am alone in my love of the Phillies (except for my family). I’m thought of as a crazy person when I tell people I cheer for Philadelphia teams and can’t. stand. the Cowboys. But, I’m ok with it. Philadelphia… sports… loving these games is in my blood and there’s no where I can live, and nothing anyone could say that will change that.
I haven’t been able to make a Phillies game in a few years. So, a few weeks ago when one of our friends had an extra ticket to a Round Rock Express game I jumped on it. Girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, and this was the closest thing to a major league baseball game I could get my hands on.
So, I effectively crashed guys night at the ballpark. Complete with my very own soft pretzel.