Thursday, September 05, 2013

It Has Taken Fifty Years

I have finally begun to like baseball. When I first arrived in LA and started my life in the States as a Teaching Assistant, my fellow TA was a delightful man called Joe Margon. Joe was way older than me and had lived in New York with his wife and two children. After he moved to LA he earned a living working for MGM, reading books and plays and giving recommendations as to whether they would make good movies. Somewhere along the way he studied classics and was admitted to the University of Southern California as a Ph.D candidate. That first summer I told him I could not see the point of baseball, which seemed to me like a glorified version of rounders. Now football, the American variety, I could see, but not baseball. Joe looked most upset, but we were way too busy for him to explain why he thought I was wrong. He did mutter something about a game of the mind.

Time marched on and in 1968 we were in Detroit with two small children. If I thought I was busy when the topic first came up with Joe, that was nothing to this time in my life. When I got a chance to read the paper or watch the news, I realized the Detroit Tigers were having a great season and we were watching when they eventually won the world series. Together with most of the population of Detroit (and I suppose with those two small babies) we poured into the streets and we drove up and down Jefferson, beeping our horn. Not probably the smartest behavior.

The Tigers repeated their world series victory in 1984, though I don't think it made much of a ripple in this household. It is conceivable that they will repeat again this year, although you would never guess from the game I watched last night. They lost 4 to 20 to the Boston Red Socks. One of the joys of watching on ESPN is that there is all kinds of commentary, necessary and unnecessary, telling me that this was the worst Tiger loss for 20 years. And I have got my co-habitant telling me all the rules, even the ones I know. My daughter Elizabeth pitched for John Carroll University, her husband Jeff plays short-stop for a church league and their son, Henry, is a real baseball fanatic and Tigers supporter. I just talked to Liz who told me she and Henry (that's him in the Tiger shirt) spent three and a half hours in the emergency room last night after a ball hit Henry in the eye. He's fine.

Now I will revert to my heritage and try to figure out soccer.

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