I was very lucky a week ago to win six tickets to the Baltimore Orioles Vs The Toronto Blue Jays series of Baseball Games from my workplace. Of course the irony did not escape the Marketing Department that I work for, that the one person working for Alban CAT who knows nothing about the game, or really cares that much about it, won home plate tickets to a game of Baseball. After all I am English, and Baseball… Well… I will be fair, it isn’t my cup of tea.
Now don’t take that wrong. I am not disrespecting the game. It is just I am from another culture, another country and don’t have the emotional connection to Baseball that seem’s to be ingrained into the blood here in the USA. I don’t expect anyone here to go out of their way to watch Football (soccer), Cricket or Rugby, and I don’t go out of my way to return the favor. I have found the sports you have here in the USA, that are popular, seem to be perfectly molded for TV viewing… American Football is five seconds of play, with five minutes of commercials, analysis and setup, the same with Ice Hockey, Baseball is so slow it also fits this same model and NASCAR is just Billboards disguised as Racing Cars going around, and around. This isn’t a bad thing… Just I grew up with mostly continuous play sports and motor racing where the cars turn right as well as left as part of the racing.
The tickets we had were for the Wednesday Orioles vs Blue Jays game, that turned into a double-header because of all the rain during the week, and despite my lack of enthusiasm for the sport I had promised myself I would at least take in one game if the opportunity ever presented itself. The weather was a nice barmy fall evening, I picked up some Orioles shirts for the family (from the local thrift store) and we went to the game.
Now the game of Baseball is pretty easy to pick up on and while there are parts I don’t understand everything, I had watched enough Baseball movies to have a good basic knowledge of the game. Okay, I know Major League is perhaps not the best Baseball primer ever… But, at least I went in with some idea of what was going on. Three chances to hit the ball forward, run the bases, three outs you change sides and two switches per innings are the most basic rules you need to know.
What followed was a very relaxing way to spend three hours of your time and the crack of a wooden bat hitting the ball is a very hypnotic sound. Campden Yards, home of the Orioles, is a very nice stadium to be in, lots of food vendors, pleasant atmosphere and a lot of spectator participation with the between inning camera events, and stretches. Yes, we all danced to Macho Man and had a very mellow time of it, Baseball feels like it is more a social thing activity, than just watch the game. I think it also helped that the Orioles in their second game against the Blue Jays won (pretty spectacularly as well), with near perfect weather for an evening of Baseball.
Sadly from my understanding even though the Orioles won the next two games in their series against the Blue Jays it was not enough to advance them in to the play offs for the World Series. To sum up, I had a very pleasant, if not slightly baffled time of it. Has it made me fan of the game? No… Not really, but I would go again if given the opportunity and I can see the attraction of the sport – in all it was a good time in Bird land.