Another great column by our BHS '67 classmate. Thanks Dave!
Opening Day 2010
by David LeSueur
3/28/2010 11:02:48 PM
On April 9, my son Carl and my son-in-law Branden are flying to Denver from New York City. My other son John is flying here from Salt Lake City. The occasion? Opening Day at Coors Field. That was their gift to me for Christmas and I am very excited about it. I mentioned the game to my physical therapist last week and her only comment was "I think baseball is boring." I felt a little insulted because I love baseball and going to baseball games is a family tradition. Even my wife, who doesn't really like sports, loves going to baseball games.
When my kids were small, we attended games at Dodger Stadium. For my kids, Dodger Stadium was not the venue where the Dodgers played baseball, it was the place where they could buy all of the junk food they wanted. We used to always fight about when to go to the snack stands to buy treats but I eventually got wise and worked out a deal with the kids. We bought hot dogs before the game, had cotton candy in the 3rd inning and chocolate milkshakes in the 7th. (Not coincidentally, the 3rd and 7th innings were the ones when Jerry Doggett took over the play-by-play from Vin Scully. Someone in the stadium always had the radio tuned to 640 KFI so you could hear Vinnie calling the game on the radio. I didn't mind missing Jerry Doggett as much.) After making this bargain, the kids even watched the game, though it was mostly to make sure I noticed when the 3rd and 7th innings arrived.
I wanted to defend baseball to this woman who thinks it is boring. I thought about saying that life imitates the World Series or that baseball is as American as Mom, apple pie and Chevrolet. I decided to be honest: "Yes, baseball is boring.But so am I!"
I admit I am boring but most people like me anyway once they get to know me.Baseball is the same way.Most people will like it if they just give the game a chance. (Maybe Major League Baseball should adopt the marketing slogan "Come to a baseball game! It's almost as boring as you are!")
Baseball is not life, but it is like me in many ways. For example, now that I am retired, I spend most of the day in my pajamas. When I do get dressed, I put on comfortable clothes that just LOOK like pajamas. In baseball, the managers spend most of the day at home or at the hotel in their pajamas. Then they come to the stadium and put on their baseball uniforms which just LOOK like pajamas.
I keep a To Do list on my computer.The upside is that It helps me to remember what I need to do. The downside is that it reminds me of all the things I never did. Last year I accomplished 57 tasks out of 180 I wrote on my list. That is only about 1/3 but in talking to other men, that is a pretty good average. In baseball, hitters fail in most of their at bats too. An average of .333 is considered very good.
I am a creature of habit. If we go to McDonald's I get the Chicken Nuggets. At Texas Roadhouse I buy the ribs. At California Pizza Chicken I order the Barbecued Chicken Salad. Baseball is also full of traditions. Every game begins with the "Star Spangled Banner", everyone sings "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" before the bottom of the 7th, and the Cubs win the World Series once each century.
Even if you are an interesting person, I think you will like baseball almost as much as we boring people do. So if you are at Coors Field on opening day, please stop by to say hi to me. I am sitting on the 1st base side of the bottom level. I'll be the boring guy sitting next to his sons and son-in-law. If you come by during the 3rd inning we'll be the grown men eating cotton candy.
David LeSueur lives in Littleton, Colorado, with his interesting wife, Mary.