For the Love of Baseball

I am a die-hard San Francisco Giants fan. No, this didn’t happen in the last six years. I’ve been a fan since I was a little kid. In the second grade, I memorized all the players, their positions, and their jersey numbers. People would always test me and I always got them right.

I was questioned my junior year of high school as to why I liked the Giants. My classmates felt that because the Giants weren’t doing well, I shouldn’t be a fan. I said I was loyal and stuck with my team. (Funny story…all those people are now Giants “fans.” Weird how that happens.)

Anyway, I despised the Dodgers (and still do). In my eyes, they were the scum of the earth that the devil himself created. Anyone, and I mean anyone, including my former boss, brought them up and I was ready to dish out the insults. It was really fun after 2010 to look at them and go, “When was the last time the Dodgers won the World Series?” Or my personal favorite: “I tried calling Clayton Kershaw, but there were no rings.”

Then I went to Spring Training last year.

We arrived at Scottsdale Stadium for the Giants vs Dodgers game and I was ready. I was going to talk smack to fans of the devil team. Heck, I might have been willing to throw a punch. Don’t judge – I was pregnant and hormonal.

Cody and I sat on the grass of the outfield. My scorecard was in my lap and I was working on filling it out when I heard a couple guys talking behind me.

“You guys have some awesome pitchers. That Bumgarner is crazy good.” I turned and saw a guy in a Dodgers hat. I was stunned.

“Yeah, they’re pretty amazing. But let me tell you, man, that Vin Scully is a legend. I love listening to him.” I glanced over. It was a Giants fan.

I was speechless and trying to process what was happening. These two fans were complimenting each other’s team. And not just any team, but the two teams that are the biggest rivalry in baseball.

I looked around the field. There we were, the fans, just enjoying baseball because we love it. No smack talking required or punches thrown. We were united by the passion we feel for a ball, some dirt and grass, a bat, and nine guys on the field.

Leaving Spring Training, my perspective was very different. I’m still crazy passionate about the Giants. That sure as heck didn’t change. (I’m still trying to convince my husband to let me name one of our kids Madison regardless if it’s a boy or girl.) I still don’t like the Dodgers. But I enjoy the game because it’s fun.

The Giants were just eliminated from the postseason, which totally and completely sucked. Two years ago, I would have woke up the next morning, unable to really function, grieving our loss. But today, I was okay. I woke up, went to work, told a couple people that it was frustrating to watch, and I survived the day. Am I avoiding Facebook and Instagram because I don’t want to see the stuff about the Cubs winning? Of course. Will I be okay if the Dodgers win it all? HECK NO. I’ll go into hibernation.

I have pretty much always avoided posting things about the postseason on Facebook and other social media sites, especially about putting the Dodgers down. (Disclaimer: I always post when the Giants win the World Series. I mean, come on, it’s a huge deal.) I don’t post because I know it’s going to start a debate and no one is going to win.

Last night, I saw a post talking about how annoying Giants fans are with “their even year crap” and how it’s over now. And honestly, it was hurtful. Did this person no longer want to be my friend? Did I say something to set them off? Am I annoying? Then I was frustrated and wanted to comment back and point out that if their team was winning during even years, they would be thrilled and would be posting about even years too. (Don’t say you wouldn’t. You know it’s true.) I got my emotions out on a good run and didn’t say anything back. Why? Because I love the game for the game and I wasn’t going to let some post ruin it for me.

Let’s enjoy this amazing sport called baseball. When your friend’s team wins, be happy for them. Heck no, you don’t have to support their team or cheer for them. Just be happy for them. We all know that high of watching your team do well, so let people have their moment. (Unless they’re Dodgers or Yankees fans…just kidding. Kind of. Hey, I’m not perfect, okay?)

Now, I’m going to go stare out the window until Spring Training.

And go Cubs. You’ve waited a long time for this.

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