In 2008 I didn’t have a full season ticket to the IronPigs. I had a strategy. I would watch games from different angles until I found a spot that I liked best. That strategy eventually led me to sit in the outfield behind the right-center field wall. Many others recognized this as a great spot to watch the game and now premium seats are now located there… but that’s not what I’m talking about today.
On a cool spring day with a surprisingly hot sun I was seated next to an older gentleman. We sat and discussed baseball the entire time and traded a few favorite recipes but the highlight of the day was when he described to me the day he saw Juan Marichal start both ends of a double header and hit a home run to win the game. Back when baseball was really baseball, in his words.
Another time I stood chatting with a Baseball legend and Hall of Fame pitcher completely unaware of who he was until later. The stories that these folks told were priceless and captivated all who listened.
With the Steelhawks moving into the new PPL arena I will miss one thing about Stabler Arena. The folks who worked there. Some of them have been around forever. Tales of sporting events, concerts… all kinds of events.
I love a good story. Really, I do. It’s almost a lost art with all of the social media, online, texting phones that I will admit I enjoy myself.
How many of us over the age of 30 can remember what it was like to have an elder draw us into a world, a life, an experience they once had without someone holding up their smart phone saying, “Yeah, I checked google and that didn’t happen.”
Sometimes it doesn’t matter if it happened or not. Did Juan Marichal really start both ends of a double header? How many of you google checked before continuing to read this?
I once overheard a conversation between the young and old. The elder being accused of being incorrect, the younger insisting they were right. It’s tough to do at times, but I feel it is sometimes better to be kind than to be proven right.
Granted, outright lies.. yeah, these shouldn’t be acknowledged. Anything that would allow an individual to gain something from their claim, yes.. call those folks out. What I’m talking about are memories. Stories. Myths. Legends.
Did Babe Ruth eat a dozen hot dogs before a game? Were you there when it happened? Can you prove or disprove that it happened.
We live in a world of stories. Of fiction. Stories that we enjoy and distract us from the less pleasant parts of our lives. Songs, movies, TV shows are generally all fiction… or “based” on true events. Even the best non-fiction usually imparts some artistic license.
I enjoy those stories. I enjoy the friends and hearing of their lives. I enjoy sitting back and listening.
Nonetheless, I do enjoy watching sports but what it’s really about for me.. it’s the people. The people and their stories.
Categories: Noise Nation History