As these things tend to go, a lot of my memories of watching baseball while I was growing up have my dad in them. My parents divorced when I was little and went to live with my mom, but every other Friday night in the summer I would be at my dad's house with a pizza from the shop down the street and we would watch the O's. Ice cream was served at the seventh inning stretch, and of course we never turned the game off before it was over.
I still talk baseball with my dad regularly, but I can tell he's detached from the whole experience. He and I aren't on the same wavelength of fandom anymore. He'll often say things like "Well, I don't understand how anyone can think this stuff is important". He's an early to bed, early to rise type of person, and I doubt he's stayed up late enough to see a full game in a couple years.To him, it just isn't entertaining to watch a crummy baseball team.
I went to an Oriole game with him earlier this year. It was the first time he had been to Camden Yards since I was a teenager. At least. Brad Bergesen versus the New York Yankees, to predictable results. My dad wanted to leave early. We left early.
After last night's thrilling game ended just past midnight, I sat up for a while. My heart was exhilarated and revolted at the practical request of sleep. As the clock ticked on and I lasted deeper into the witching hours of the night, the euphoria of the game seemed to fade. It was replaced by a desperate loneliness. It was a familiar kind of sadness: the baseball season isn't over for everyone, but it is for us. I laid in bed and sank into sleep.
Things are picking up at work now that the baseball season is over. I woke up and had to get an early start on the day. As I made my breakfast, I checked my email. There was a message from my dad. It read:
Great game last night. Loved the ending. Reminds me why baseball CAN be so engaging at times.