I’ve been watching baseball since 2004. An illness and horrible bouts of insomnia led me to look for something to keep me busy at night when the rest of my world was sleeping.
The North American Sports Network had just launched in Ireland, showing baseball games, with lots of live games starting just after midnight. Perfect.
It was relaxing, nothing too strenuous and something to keep me occupied. Little did I know that I would fall for the game.
After a few weeks, I decided that if I was going to watch this, I should root for a team. Since I had been to San Francisco not too long before, and loved the place, the San Francisco Giants became an obvious choice.
I was still learning the rules and history of the club. I hadn’t even known they had reached the World Series two years before. But by the end of the season, I was subscribed to MLB tv, trying to watch the Giants and the Dodgers, with my team losing the division by two games.
Baseball became a companion to me. I worked from home and always had a game from the night before on as I did my work. Let’s face it for the next couple of years the Giants were, putting it nicely, shite.
Tim Lincecum joined, Barry Bonds retired and then a fresh breed of Giants gave some hope. I will never forget 2010, I had returned to study and the post season was challenging to say the least. Going to bed early so I could get up and watch games and hopefully get some sleep before lectures. It was all worth it for the first of three World Series titles.
Life changes, jobs mean baseball viewing habits change, I had a Madison Bumgarner Jersey shaped 40th birthday cake but I still had never been to an actual MLB game. I just couldn’t afford it.
So when the news filtered that baseball was coming to London where I now live, I hadtwo emotions. Sheer delight and simultaneously, dread. What happens if I couldn’t get a ticket? You can read about that here.
Now the #LondonSeries is this weekend. Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, obviously I wish it was the Giants but I guess the two East Coast teams are the flagship for the game.
The information and teasers that the MLB people have put out through social media imply that no one in the UK has ever watched a game. I got an email during the week reminding me that a baseball game doesn’t have a set time as it goes by innings and outs etc. Pretty low brow stuff. A social media post with ‘Phrases you might hear at the ballpark’ didn’t really help very much.
Now I’m wondering. This game that I’ve loved and watched for the past fifteen years, is it not going to be what I expected?
Will I think it’s shite if I don’t have Kruk, Kuip, John and Dave chatting to me through the game? Have I built this all up so much that I will only be disappointed?
I’m hoping for a few home runs, some proper battle it out stuff, an extra inning? Why not? And a good old Red Sox vs Yankees physical tussle where the umpire gets involved and has to eject a few? That would be awesome. And no, I’m not endorsing violence.
When the Giants won the three World Series, I felt a passion for a sport like nothing else. (Maybe when Meath won the All Ireland). If America’s summer pastime is in the UK, I want the ripple of electricity to spread around the ballpark.
I’m ready. Game on!
Follow me on Instagram for updates from both June 29 and June 30th