Gr8chefmb's Blog

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Wait Til Next Year! October 19, 2010

One of my favourite books is Doris Kearns Goodwin’s memoir Wait Til Next Year. She talks about growing up in the 50s and 60s as a Catholic girl rooting for the perpetual underdog Brooklyn Dodgers. I discovered Ms. Goodwin while watching Ken Burns’ epic Baseball miniseries, as well as other baseball writers. I was excited when Ms. Goodwin published her memoir for two reasons. I love reading biographies and I love reading about history. This one book hit both of these points, and I could kind of sort of relate, having been born and raised Catholic.

It was interesting reading about the trials and tribulations of the Brooklyn Dodgers, especially agains the backstory of the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. I could so relate to the author’s feelings about the Brooklyn Dodgers because I have felt the exact same way about my beloved Texas Rangers. Every year, when the Dodgers failed to win playoffs, let alone the World Series, the rallying cry was ‘Wait until next year!’

I have been a lifelong fan of the Texas Rangers, even when I was really too young to understand the game. I have stood by them in good times and bad; commiserated with other fans over bad pitching staffs and silent bats; and gotten disgusted with bad signings (Chan Ho Park comes to mind!). Every year, I anticipate the start of the new season in the hopes that this will be our year, only to be disappointed again. My hopes were raised in 1996 when the Rangers reached the playoffs for the first time only to fall out of the first round. My own personal rallying cry has been ‘Wait until next year!’

The playoffs this year have been amazing, nail-bitingly close, and mind-blowing. I really hope and pray it continues for the Rangers all the way to end with them winning the pennant. This could be our ‘netxt year.’ Go Rangers!

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For the love of the game… March 22, 2010

For as long as I can remember, I have loved baseball. I don’t know why, really. I have no athletic ability whatsoever…LOL! I have that same feeling that is displayed so ably and touchingly by Kevin Costner in his baseball trilogy of movies [Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, and For the Love of the Game]. I guess there is something satisfying in hearing the crack of bat against ball and racing against time (and opponents) to score. I love watching games on TV and/or listening to them on the radio, but I am happiest when I can attend games in person. I love the sights, smells and sounds of the ballpark. When I can’t attend in person or watch on TV, I listen to the games via that most blessed tool, the internet. It gives me a sense of history to listen to games and imagine the action on the field, much as I suspect fans did before the advent of television.

I have been a fan of the Texas Rangers since they moved to Texas after being the Washington Senators for such a long time. I have memories of old players from the 1970s and 1980s, such as Gaylord Perry and Nolan Ryan. My appreciation grew even more in the 1990s and on to today. I have cheered when they have won, especially when they had some awesome seasons. I have cried when they came up short, as they so often have. I still entertain the hope and the wish that they will make it to the World Series and win it.

I love reading about the history of the game and players’ biographies. I absolutely LOVED Ken Burns’ miniseries documentary. In fact, his documentary led to some of my favorite authors and sports writers as well as introducing me to old-school players of which I was not aware, such Buck O’Neill and so many others. Currently, I am finishing reading for a second time ‘The Teammates: A Portrait of Friendship’ by David Halberstam. This was a great read and I would recommend it to anyone. I also thoroughly enjoyed Doris Kearns Goodwin’s memoir, ‘Wait Till Next Year,’ of growing up in the 1950s and rooting for the Brooklyn Dodgers in their quest to finally win the pennant (which they did in 1955 and then moved to Los Angeles).

The spring training is almost over and the regular season will start. As always, I am hoping that the Texas Rangers will have their ‘next year’ THIS year. We’ll see… I will be cheering for them and hoping against hope. 🙂