I never really followed sports, except when I was a kid. I watched the Minnesota Twins baseball games with my grandpa. We didn’t have a TV, so I’d ride my bike to his place a few blocks away, drink RC Cola and watch Kirby Puckett and Frank Viola.
I started watching baseball again a few years ago. Keeping up with sports gives me a ticket into conversations I normally wouldn’t have. It’s the healthy version of smoking cigarettes. Don’t you sort of envy that little huddle of smokers outside a diner? I sure do. Unfortunately the price of admission is a dusty lung.
Anyway, my sons play soccer. The parents stand around and watch. I’m not someone who’s a great conversationalist. But I knew the dad next to me is from New York, and the Twins happened to be playing the Yankees that weekend, so I asked him if he’d been watching the series.
We hit it off. Not only was he a huge baseball fan, he’d seen the Yankees play the Twins at the Metrodome in Minneapolis years back. Just from asking about baseball I learned his name is Matt, he’s a trial lawyer, born and raised in New York, and he runs marathons.
I see him often now around my son’s school activities and we always give each other a tilted-head-back nod and an eyebrow raise, as if to say “I’ve got your back forever, man.”
P.S. Now is a great time to start watching baseball. The playoffs are around the corner. If you’re needing a team to root for, pick the Minnesota Twins.
* Thanks to Theo in Tennessee who inspired this week’s topic.