I love listening to major league baseball. That's right—listening. On a radio.
Pretty strange, you might say. How can you not watch on TV? Well, for one, we didn't have cable until yesterday, so except for various championship games, I could only listen. And that was fine with me.
I think I prefer listening because that was one of my favorite activities with my father. When I lived in Cincinnati, I loved the Reds. When I was nine, we moved to Pittsburgh, and the first game I attended with Dad, I cheered for the Reds rather than the Pirates. But eventually, I became a huge Pirate fan. In those years, players stayed on teams much longer than they do today, so we got to think of people like Ralph Kiner, Danny Murtaugh, Vernon Law and Gus Bell as extended family.
Dad was the Western Pennsylvania manager of a national life insurance company, and he had four season tickets for the Pirates three or four rows above the visitors' dugout, ostensibly to entertain his clients. But, as far as I can recall, he mostly entertained his family.
When the team was away, however, listening to the radio was what we did. I can picture us sitting in our tiny sunroom, bonding. The Pirates' announcer then was a man named Rosey Roswell, and he was a legend, perhaps best known for "Open the window, Aunt Minnie, here she comes." We loved him, we loved the Pirates, and we loved watching together.
Of course, it only took a short time in Boston to switch my allegiance to my wonderful Red Sox. True, I have to learn a few new names every year, and I don't get to go to many games, but I consider myself a bona fide citizen of Red Sox Nation.
So last night I watched the game in our TV room. We have a new TV set with HDTV and cable that includes the Red Sox games. I watched about five innings. I wasn't crazy about all the dazzle, and missed the constant banter of the announcers. So I went upstairs and turned on the radio. The Sox won in the ninth. And I was very happy.
Dad would have been happy too.