A Giant Victory the Day Before the Vote.


The Catch

Politics is not the only place that I have been stuck for decades, blindly following the path I have always followed.  Since 1954, I have been stuck with the San Fransisco’s professional baseball team, the Giants. The Giants did not even live in San Fransisco when I first started to declare my fanship, they were the cross town National League rivals of the hated American League Yankees and the equally hated, National League Bums – commonly called the Dodgers. Anyone who would root for either of those teams always seemed a bit strange, if not dangerous to me.

Like most people, I find myself jumping on band-wagons, far from an early adapter, I join after a clear winner has been establish, trying to pretend I knew all along who the real winner would be.  In 1954 I was in the sixth grade in Reno, my school brought a television into the auditorium – it also served as the gymnasium – and for one period a day students were allowed to watch the game – for most of us it was the only chance we had to see the games as very few of us had a television set at home.

Sitting in that gym, I saw Willie make that catch – or my memory says I did, but it has been known to lie about those things – I saw them win the series and as they won, I jumped on their bandwagon.  It did not shake my confidence when the moved across the country to live closer to me, in fact it felt like the right thing to do.  In all of the years since I have had years where I paid attention to baseball and the Giants and years where I knew nothing of any American sport.

Whenever I did tun into the sport, the Giants were my team, I disliked very much when they lost, but felt somehow elevated when they won.  The relationship of a fan to a team is indeed strange, there is no real connection – in the case of most fans – we don’t really know the players only their public persona, but we feel as if we do; they feel like friends and we often defend their actions just as if they were part of family or very close friends.  A new player, as soon as he puts on the uniform, is suddenly of us, and when he takes it off and dons another he is of them.

It has been a very long time that I have been riding that bandwagon, until just 56 years it was once again leading the parade once again.  But this time I really feel as if it is my bandwagon and anyone who has gotten on later than 1954 is just a joiner and not a true fan.  It has been a great baseball season and now I guess I will be content in the knowledge I really did know what I was doing when I followed Willie and the Giants around the diamond waving flags and cheering.  Is it spring training yet?


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November 2010
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