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Said the Rookie to the Veteran

Game 7 in which the Chicago Cubs took the World Series for the first time in 108 years was one for history books. The back-and-forth battle had everyone on the edge of their seats nervously finishing off the rest of their halloween candy well into the night.

There were many amazing plays but it was this moment, caught on mike, that connected us with the players on a personal level. In this snippet of dugout banter the 27-year old Anthony Rizzo talks to 39-year old David Ross who is playing the final game of his career.

Rizzo: I can’t control myself right now. I’m trying my best.
Ross: It’s understandably so, buddy.
Rizzo: I’m emotional.
Ross: I hear ya.
Rizzo: I’m an emotional wreck.
Ross: Well, it’s only going to get worse. Just continue to breathe. That’s all you can do, buddy. It’s only gonna get worse.
Rizzo: I’m in a glass case of emotion right now.
Ross: Wait until the 9th with this three-run lead.

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Baseball Opening Day

It’s the first day of the Japanese baseball season today which gives me occasion to share this excellent commercial from last year.

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Because. . .Baseball

Post Season Cubs

It’s not often that the Cubs make it to the post season so when they do, something’s gotta give. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign student Ben Larson asks his professor if he could take a make up exam and the professor’s response is priceless.

via twitter

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Baseball Fandom, Visualized

The United States of Baseball

From a New York Times deep dive into how people list their preferred baseball team on Facebook.

“Like the Mets, the Athletics are the less popular team in a two-team region — less popular everywhere in that region, based on the data from Facebook. Again, winning the World Series matters. The Giants have won two of the last four. The A’s have won none of the last 24.”

Alameda baseball fan baseI always knew that there are a lot of East Coast transplants in the Bay Area, 6% of them being Red Sox fans sounds about right.

Watching the Oakland A’s

I had a windfall a couple weeks ago when our neighbor ended up with extra tickets to a sky suite at the Oakland Colesium. We went with Tyler and the neighborhood boys to see the Yankees play the A’s. On the way back from getting cotton candy, a photo service vendor took a photo where I found the picture above. More photos from the game on my flickr set.

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Now that’s a community!


Check out this great video of a guy with autism who was invited to sing the national anthem at Fenway park. He gets a case of the nervous giggles halfway through and the crowd picks up and carries him the rest of the way.

– via Marc Levin

Ballpark promotions gone horribly wrong

As we slide into the World Series we remember Five Ballpark Promotion schemes that went wrong. Includes gems such as the Cleveland Indians 10-cent beer night

Management forgot one small detail: drunk people get restless. More than 25,000 fans showed up for the event, most of them already tipsy at the gate. Among the more tame incidents was a woman who flashed the crowd from the on-deck circle, a father-son team mooning the players (good bonding experience, I guess) and fans jumping on the field to meet shake hands with the outfielders. Then, in the bottom of the ninth, the Indians tied the game, but never got a chance to win. Fans started throwing batteries, golf balls, cups and rocks onto the field and one even took the glove of the Rangers right fielder. As the player rushed into the stands to get his glove back, fans starting swarming the field to stop him and threw chairs to block his way.

Full list at Mental Floss.

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Game On!

Tyler’s T-Ball league teams are all named after real Major League teams. Tyler plays for the Washington Nationals who were most recently the Montreal Expos. Last weekend we all went to the beautiful SBC Park to see the real Washington Nationals play the San Francisco Giants. It was pouring down rain on our way in and everyone was wondering if the game would be called. As we waited for the light to change so we could cross the street to the stadium, I looked around and could see that this was a die hard crowd. They were going to this game even though it was raining and was predicted to rain through to the evening. They were there on the off chance that the game would be on. Folks were huddled under their umbrellas in grim determination and I began to wonder if this day at the ballpark was going to work out as planned.

As we waited, a station wagon rolled by in traffic with a young girl, maybe 9 or 10 years old, leaning out the window and waving her baseball glove madly and egging on the crowd, “Game On! Game On!” as if she could will the game to happen. You could see she couldn’t wait to see her SF Giants hit the field. And would you believe it, after a short delay, the grounds crew came out to pull the covering off the diamond to the roar of the crowd.

The game went into extra innings and came down to some questionable calls but by that time we had already gone. As you can see from the photo above, attention spans were waning and when the wind picked up in the fifth inning, it was time to duck out and head home.

The seats were great (thanks Andrew!) and the kids had a blast.

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Little League

Tyler debuted on his little league T-ball team this past weekend. In Japan they have something called a koen debut which is the first time a mother takes their child to the park. It’s a stressful occasion because this is the time when mother and child learn if they are to be accepted into the community.

Taking your son to Little League has some of those elements. I’m the first to admit that I’m not a yelling-at-your-boy-from-the sidelines-to-pick-it-up type. I don’t even play baseball. But still, you always wonder if you’re both going to be accepted into the community.

I missed the buying of Tyler’s first baseball glove which, according to Izumi was memorable. Passing a rack of guns on the wall of the local sporting goods store Tyler questioned loudly why firearms were for sale, “Guns are bad, they shouldn’t be selling guns.” Right on. That’s my boy.

Each of the Little League team is named after a major league team and, seeing as Tyler and everyone on his team are just starting out, it seems fitting that he’s playing for The Nationals, the recently transplanted Montreal Expos, now reborn as Washington DC’s newest team.

I think it’s going to work out great. The coach is really nice and very patient working with the boys and is very good at explaining the basics. This week they worked on catching grounders. Hey, I might pick something up too!