I was 23 years old when I saw my first baseball game. Why had it taken so long- I don't know. I was coerced by my older sister and a few of her friends to join them, last minute, to go see a game. I had never watched an entire game; not even on TV. Once I submitted, we piled in a car and made the hour drive north to the stadium. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Would I be bored? -Captivated? -Indifferent?
When we arrived, I felt as if we were part of a herd of animals. Hundreds of people were filing in from all directions- migrating toward the stadium. Dedicated fans, embellished in their replica jerseys, supporting their home team. Friends in formed packs making their way to the game after a long week, maybe.
After stopping by the concession stands for anything covered in nacho cheese, we found our seats -(I had always thought games were mostly about the concession stands anyway). From our view, I suspected we were watching an ant version of what baseball should look like. Last minute tickets proved to be less than optimal. I was still suspicious of how the night would go, and those seats didn't help.
In no time, the game had started. The player's faces were flashed on the giant screens- some faces and names I even recognized. Then it was game time. With no experience of the beloved American pastime, I had a hard time understanding what the ants were doing and what the calls meant. Thank goodness for those giant screens.
But as the night continued on, I began noticing the patterns; getting more intrigued by the game as I could follow its progression. Sure enough, in no time I was mimicking the umpire's calls as they came, "OOOoooouuut!!" (with the "t" barely audible).
It wasn't just the ump that I found endearing, it was the fans. When you're sitting in a big stadium full of people, you find yourself consumed by its energy- Booing when a rival batter comes to the plate, cheering when a prized player makes a home run, getting riled up about bad calls.
Whether it's your first game or you've been a fan since age 5, it doesn't matter once you're there- you're part of it. For those few hours, you're part of a brotherhood bound by baseball. In my opinion, the true endearment of American Baseball is the fans. And in the end, I had a very good time after all.