Pretty early on he realized this was not the case for me. While I enjoy a trip to the old ball game and snacking on stadium food as much as the next person, for most of our relationship I really had no clue how baseball worked.
|Although I was more than happy to take pictures in front of bobblehead-doll baseball players.|
|Tickets to the Marlins game, a generous gift from my uncle|
As those words left my mouth, I realized they applied to me and baseball just as much as to him and dancing. Why shouldn't I learn more about his interests, after all? Especially if I was asking him to learn more about mine.
So I made up my mind to learn about baseball. And not just to learn about it—to love it. I remembered a line from one of my favorite books, A Severe Mercy. The couple agrees that "If one of us likes anything, there must be something to like in it—and the other one must find it." If Frank loves baseball, there must be something to love about it!
I started off pretty slow—as Frank said the other night, his voice a mixture of shock and horror, "I didn't realize you didn't even know the difference between a ball and a strike." True. I also didn't know the difference between a no-hitter and a perfect game, or the purpose of a shortstop, or what RBIs or ERAs are, or how many games are in a World Series, or what the designated hitter rule is. But I've learned all those things in just the past week.
I started by asking for advice from all my friends who like baseball. They've been so helpful. My roommate Heather lent me an awesome book comparing baseball to Christianity, the lovely JoAnna explained that baseball is philosophical and suggested using a scorecard to understand the games, and Patrick constructed a miniature baseball diamond of plates and napkins on my dining room table. Conor laughed at me: "Only you would try to learn baseball by reading a book, Tess." But then he talked to me about Bill Mazeroski and the ninth-inning walk-off in the 1960 World Series, and my mind expanded. I'm trying to take it all in and learn as much as I can, and I'm asking Frank to please take me to at least one baseball game before the wedding.
So this is it—the start of my Great Quest to Love Baseball. I'm giving it my best shot and I'm really excited to keep learning. I hope that at the very least, someday when Frank is coaching our son's Little League team, I'll be able to go to all the games and actually understand what's going on. And if I happen to become the newest Number One Fan of the White Sox along the way ... that wouldn't be so bad either. :)
Are you a baseball fan? Do you have any tips? I would love to hear why you like the game, how you learned about it, and any other advice!
p.s. Thanks to Sarah for this lovely little reflection on our dinner last week. My take on it here.