Being a Baseball Chick
I don't dance on bar tops. I don't stumble drunkenly
to the handsome guy by the jukebox and extend an
invitation to my apartment following closing time.
I'm afraid I don't even send drinks to strangers. My
strategy is so much simpler and causes no hangovers.
I'll approach a guy, flash a winning smile, and ask,
"Do you know who owns the record for the most
strikeouts in a World Series Game?" If he knows the
answer (Bob Gibson), we'll just talk baseball stats
for a while. If he's clueless, I'll kindly fill him
in. Either way, he's usually so knocked out by my
knowledge of America's pastime that he asks for my
phone number. Works like a charm.
I'm known as the "baseball fanatic" in my circle of
friends. I've explained the infield-fly rule at least
a dozen times to baseball newbies. One guy pal and I
discuss our favorite teams (the Reds and the
Cardinals, respectively) virtually every time we talk.
Even if another guy is present, he still chats
baseball with me. That puts a huge feather in my
At the ripe old age of 11, I became a baseball junkie.
One evening, I joined my dad in watching the 1991
playoffs. I became hooked. I watched every game, my
mind locked on each play. I loved the strike-out on
the 3-2 pitch. I loved the defensive handiwork of the
second baseman as he'd turn the double play. I loved
watching the catcher block home plate as he braced
himself for the collision.
I tell anti-baseball people you can't become a fan
watching any random game. You need something
magical, like the 1991 World Series. Every game was a
nail-biter, and they played the pivotal game seven -- a
necessity in making a World Series truly memorable. I
rooted with every fiber of my being for the Twins.
Kirby Puckett, Scott Erickson, Chuck Knoblauch -- those
were my boys. My favorite fan sign ever comes from
that Series -- "Hrbek, buy a vowel from Vanna." And
when my Twins won, I felt I was jumping around the
field with them.
I watched Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee play their last
games at Busch Stadium and became a little misty-eyed.
The tears all-out flowed when Cal Ripken, Jr. played
in his 2,131st game. They flowed again when Mark
McGwire broke Roger Maris' single season home run
record. I hurled objects around my living room three
years later, when Barry Bonds hit his 71st long ball
of the season. I lost my voice screaming when the
Diamondbacks knocked the Yankees off their throne in
the 2001 October classic.
Baseball not only makes great memories, but also
provides for excellent debate topics. Should Pete
Rose be in the Hall of Fame? (Yes. He has the most
hits and played harder than anyone else who ever
played the game. Enough said.) Should we have the
DH? (Nope. Nothing cheapens the game more than a guy
in the batting order who doesn't play a field
position.) Who's the greatest 3rd baseman of all
time? (Mike Schmidt. Brooks Robinson fans, feel free
I've debated, discussed, reminisced, and argued about
baseball with men and women of any age. I notice
that men especially sit up and take notice when they
discover I actually know a thing or two about
baseball. It's apparent I'm not just watching to see
attractive men in uniforms. And then I see that glint
in their eyes -- that certain sparkle which results
from finding someone who shares your love for the
greatest sport on Earth. If you're a baseball fan,
you know what I'm talking about.
©2003 by Lorelei Tabor