Saturday, February 8, 2014

Cleveland is Indians Country.

There are four places you can find me in the summer-- at home, at the zoo, at the lake, or at the Jake. At one time, I was averaging about two baseball games a week. My bank account was taking quite a hit, but I was probably the happiest I had ever been. Sometime during the summer of 2012 my sister and I made the decision to be baseball fans. We were already spending enough time at the field, might as well make it official and actually call ourselves baseball fans. This decision is about four years after we sat at the Captains game and proceeded to ask "Wait, what's a batting average out of?"

Throughout the 2012 season we were learning everything we could about baseball and attending every game financially possible. Much to our dismay, there's more to baseball than just getting a tan, drinking a beer, and heckling other fans. And it's more than just Dollar Dog Night and fireworks. I know, I know, it blew my mind, too.

But then when the 2013 season started, I realized something. We weren't just eating hot dogs anymore and calling ourselves baseball fans. Somewhere along the way, we actually became baseball fans. Sure, beer and hot dogs were still consumed and other fans were still heckled, but we actually cared about player's stats and could make heads or tails of all the numbers up on the JumboTron. I can't pinpoint when it happened, but we became real baseball fans.

The Indians made it to a playoff game this year and I took that opportunity to share my love of baseball with my students. If I have to suffer through all their soccer talk, they can learn a little about baseball. We used "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" to learn our sight words, the kids could color pictures of baseballs and Chief Wahoo at the Art Center. We even played baseball with Mr. Carl and the kids could call a decent strike. They're also quick to point out that although they like soccer, Miss Caitlin likes baseball, but its okay to be different.

When I'm feeling most homesick, I find the most comfort in perusing ebay and Amazon for Cleveland Indians gear. And when I watched the 2014 Cleveland Indians Trailer (video below) this morning, I found myself tearing up a little. I don't think this is normal behavior. So why do I react this way to a baseball team? To people I have never met? To the four walls of a stadium?

Part of the reason is that I just like baseball. It makes me happy. But I think a bigger part of it is that it reminds me of home. And that makes me happier.

I grew up going to baseball games with my dad's entire side of the family. We were the family that wore Cleveland Indians clothes in our Christmas pictures. I sent Slider a get well letter when he fell and broke his leg. I feel like I spent every night of my childhood trying to fall asleep, only to be woken up by my dad yelling at the Indians on TV. I remember going downtown to see the Indians as they came back from the World Series and the happiness that surrounded me. I ate a lemon ice and twisty rainbow unicorn horn sucker at every. single. game. Without fail.

And now when I think of baseball, I think of my dad and brother teaching my sister and I everything we know. I think of heckling other fans with my siblings. I think of going to the game with ADPi for our Dad's Day event. I think of going with my roommates, with other ADPis, with my best friends, with my family.

Baseball has always been synonymous with happiness. Baseball always reminds me of happy times with some of my favorite people in the world. And now that I'm spending more time outside of the States and less time in Cleveland, baseball is always something that can bring everyone together for an evening. In the end it's simple-- baseball makes me think of home.

1 comment:

  1. You make me smile, Caitlin!
    Love you,