Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Life lessons for a baseball fan

Orioles baseball has been a conversation between generations in my family, one that now includes my newborn son. We watched the Orioles home opener on television together on Monday. While he and I couldn't discuss the game, his first Opening Day provided me an opportunity to consider some life lessons I might teach him as a baseball fan. This is what I came up with:
The newest Orioles fan

-I want you to be an independent thinker, so be a fan of any team you want. Just know that you'll make it much harder on your daddy if you cheer for the Yankees. And I'm the one who pays the bills.

-You're going to hear about ballpark fights and fans acting like fools. Keep in mind that there are good people at the ballpark, too. Hopefully you'll come across some of them - the guy who gives a kid a foul ball he caught, offers up his extra tickets, or buys you a soda at the game simply because you're sitting next to him. Better yet, be one of them.

-Your team is going to lose, maybe even a lot. (Daddy should know.) That's okay. You'll learn to support people even when they let you down.

-It doesn't matter whether you're a player or an umpire's attendant, your role is important. Do your job well enough for long enough, and maybe someone will notice. Either way, be sure to be a person who notices.

-Sometimes you're going to get booed regardless of whether you deserve it.

-Baseball can be boring. When it is, be grateful for the opportunity to sit still.

-On occasion, other people will try to frustrate you, even in your home ballpark. Focus on who you came with and who'll be with you after you leave. Enjoy your time with them.

-The guys you're watching now aren't the first ones to play the game. Learn the names of the ones who came before them.

-You're inevitably going to endure some tough times, so be sure to enjoy the good moments while they last. Go O's.

-34-

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've never posted a comment on a blog my entire life but this should be on plaque somewhere in Camden Yards. Well done.

Anonymous said...

As an Orioles fan since the 1997 (I was 7), I understand the losing season more so than the winning ones. This blog displays the true heart of an Orioles fan. Thank you for this.

Anonymous said...

From a life long O's fan ....Well said & thanks. Just fantastic!

Roar from 34 said...

Thank you very much for the comments. I'm glad to know the post struck a chord with some fellow O's fans.

Anonymous said...

Baseball is such a great way to enjoy time together with your kids, and to teach (and learn) some life lessons.

It offers it's own unique definition of success - the very best hitters in the world "fail" 70% of the time...keep hanging in there even when the going seems rough.

As an O's fan raising 4 kids in SW Connecticut I've often told them they are free to root for whichever team they'd like - I won't choose for them. I'll watch games with them and take them to the park of their favorite team. The only rule is if they root for the Yankees they have to sleep in the back yard ;-)

- Dave

ps - sorry for the double comment, left this on the wrong post earlier.

Luke said...

I have been an Orioles fan since I was a little kid, and win or lose, they are my team. But it is a lot more fun when they win. The catch by Jones yesterday and his home run were , well, they were wonderful. The fact that the O's won was icing on the cake.
Luke, an O's fan forever