My father loved nearly all sports and started taking me to games when I was three or four. My family spent cool autumn Saturdays in Lawrence, Kansas, attending University of Kansas games and drove from Kansas City to Lawrence once a week during basketball season to watch the Hawks.
In the summer, we went to Kansas City Blues games–minor league baseball–until the Athletics came. I even interviewed the manager of the A’s for my high school newspaper. When the A’s left for California, I became a Royals fan and, because we lived in Hays, Kansas, for five years, we went to several games every summer. I was in the stands when George Brett was hitting .385. During tornado warnings–which came weeklin in Western Kansas–we sat in the basement and listened to games.
George’s favorite story was when I was sitting next to two men who were keeping score and arguing about a play and if a player should get an RBI. I leaned over and said, “The run scored on an error so it was an unearned run and no RBI.”
Then the strike hit in 1994 and World Series was cancelled. I was irate. Furious. I mean, really, really angry. I vowed, “If you’re going to take away my World Series, I’m not going to another game.” I kept that vow for years.
For years, once a week George would look at the standings in the newspaper and say, “You don’t want me to tell you about the Royals.” I didn’t ask.
Then, last year, the Royals started doing well and hooked me only to break my heart. This year, I got interested after the All-Star break although I could only watch games with Texas teams. Others were blacked out.
And I discovered something terrible about myself. I had not stopped being a baseball fan due to a moral stand. I no longer watched baseball because the Royals were a terrible team. Yes, I have to confess this: I am a fair-weather fan. I also want to confess I’m having a lot of fun this post season!