My childhood experiences with baseball comes down to five events:
- I played one season of T-ball as a kid. I was terrible and blamed my dad for years for not teaching me how to throw and catch.
- I broke my bike by running into the back end of a parked car while riding down Clark street and watching some kids playing baseball. It was embarrassing, and on top of it I had to walk my bike 2 miles to the Bike and Ski Shop to get it fixed.
- My grandfather took me to a Chicago White Sox game at old Comisky park. I remember the sounds of hundreds of people walking up the wooden ramps to the seats. The Sox were playing the Angels, and literally the only ball player I knew the name of was Reggie Jackson whom I had recently read about in Boys Life magazine. My grandfather just about killed me when I suggested rooting for the Angels.
- While he lived on the south side of Chicago, my grandfather grew up as a Cubs fan because the Sox were hot when he was a kid. He could see a Cubs game if he travelled across town. When he took me to a Cubs game, he gave me an earpiece radio he had gotten as a promo from Burger King. The guy sitting next to me at the game asked to check it out, and promptly dropped my radio into his beer. It didn’t work after that, and smelled bad.
- The only pickup game of baseball I remember playing was the one in our backyard. When I was up to bat, I took a practice swing and clubbed catcher Joey Ellis in the eye. So much for the game.