Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How Baseball Began (in my Eyes)

Many people ask if I was a baseball fan before becoming a batboy. In fact, my earliest memory of sports was attending a New York Mets baseball game in Shea stadium. I was somewhere between three and four years old, about the same age of the Mets when I saw them. Way before the Miracle Met's of 1969. It didn't matter to me who won or lost.

Inaugral Season Schedule and Win/Loss outcome

I can still remember walking into the stadium, through the concourse and out into the stands. My eyes grew wide taking in the sheer size of the stadium and the beautiful green grass contrasting sharply with the orange clay of the infield. From that moment on, I was in awe of stadiums. You can read a bit more about that here where I talk about my experiences in theKingdome. I remember sitting at the game with a big orange, metal bar in my face. You wouldn't find that in stadiums of today! Yep, way back in 1964 during a sunny afternoon in Queens, NY, this three-year old fell in love with baseball.

Ticket stub from the inaugural season - only $1.50 for a seat!
The funny thing is, I grew up in an area without baseball. Naturally, since the first game I had seen was the New York Mets, they were my favorite team. By the time we moved to Seattle, the American League awarded the city a franchise. I followed the expansion draft and every move the club made. Once the inaugural season began, I listened to most games on the radio and caught a few on TV or in person. 
Source Wikimedia Commons:
One of the owners of the Seattle ball club was Danny Kaye of White Christmas and Hans Christian Andersen fame. He brought an ever present awareness to youth in his brief tenure with the Mariners. “Children are the world’s most valuable natural resource,” Kaye said. “All you have to do is hold out a hand and embrace a child and you will have a lifelong ally.”

It's not often that the owner of a Major League franchise would have an impact on any high school kid, but for some reason, I was attracted to what he stood for. I had no idea at the time, but he would become one of the most memorable people that I would ever meet while working in baseball, and maybe in life.

I was a baseball geek to the end. I devoured the box score ever day, knew all the stats and even recorded every win and loss on the schedule/calendar seen above. Matter of fact, the main reason I entered the essay contest to become batboy two years later, was because I would get four box seats, just for entering.

Little did I know how my life would change.  

is the author of the #1 Kindle Bestselling Young Adult novel, The Card. He's also a healthcare consultant specializing in helping healthcare companies and practices develop a social media marketing platform, and maximize cash flow. You can find him posting weekly to Indies Unlimited and occasionally as a contributor on Yahoo!

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea Danny Kaye was invovled with the Mariners! Really liking this series of post Jim, I am learning a lot about you and my home team!