in which I take part in the great american pastime

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As you may or may not have guessed based on all previous entries of this blog or any prior knowledge you may have of me, I am not what you would call “into sports.” In fact, my career as a sports fan is limited to Aggie basketball by principle, Manchester United by proximity, and the little league team of that kid down the street from me, because they are adorable.

So it may come as a surprise to you that today, I, the worst sports fan in Chicago, went to a Cubs game.

Not only that. But I enjoyed it.

My limited experience with baseball before tonight comes from young adult books and John McCutcheon1. Everything I know about baseball was taught to me by Michael Chabon2. I cannot name a baseball player alive today, but my personal baseball heroes are Jennifer T. Rideout3, Brian Regan4, and the NPR softball team5. So I went into this not really knowing what to expect. I anticipated only that, on a scale of one to awesome, it would fall somewhere between Aggie basketball6 and every football game ever7.

But really, it was an overall exceptional experience that I genuinely enjoyed. The Cubs won spectacularly, which, given their record, was a pleasant surprise. But more than that, the whole game experience had all the stereotypical baseball things that you would hope for. There were home runs. There were fantastic catches. There was a crazy foul ball that a kid in the stands caught with his hat8. There was a random appearance by Gloria Estefan. There was a marriage proposal after the fourth inning. There were drunk people, and fan boys, and five dollar sodas. I loved it all.

Even though I am not a sports fan by any stretch of the imagination, I am actually really good at being a sports fan. I don’t go out of my way or pay big bucks to go to games, but sit me in a stadium and tell me who to root for and I will scream my lungs raw with the best of them. I definitely did that tonight. Several of the boys we were with even asked me if I was a closet baseball fan. I said no, to which they replied, “Oh…you’re really into the game.”

So I will be checking Cubs game off the list of stereotypical Chicago things I want to do before I leave. I will also be adding it to the list of things I enjoy.

Baseball. Who would have thought? 

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  1. A folk singer
  2. A novelist
  3. A character from Michael Chabon’s young adult novel about baseball
  4. A comedian
  5.  A group of unathletic nerds with zero hand-eye coordination
  6. The epitome of awesome
  7. Boooorrrrriiiinnnngggg. (I should clarify, I mean American football, since my stats page informed me that we do have at least two international readers.)
  8. Sadly, it wasn’t Ferris Bueller. But I did say “Schawing batter” a lot during the game.
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