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Posted by Jan - 13 - 2013 0 Comment

I was all prepared to spend some time today getting ready for some Playoff Football but got side-tracked by a guest columnist in today’s Sunday PD.  He was talking about how he passed on his love for the Browns on to his kids and was waiting for the time to take his grand-kids to a Browns game and pass it to them to.  Got me thinking, (and to my two readers), you KNOW that is a problem, but what the hell. Here it goes!

Everyone knows who their first “favorite” player was, when they went to their “first” sporting event that cemented their love for a sport, what was the deepest, darkest, saddest sports moment that will and does last a life time.  Well, here’s mine and I won’t surprise you. It centers around my Tribe.

The FIRST game:  I have no idea who the Indians were playing nor when it took place, but the imagery is vivid! Old Municipal Stadium, early ’50’s.

ClevelandStad_updeck

Walking through the bowels of the stadium not really knowing where my Dad was taking me, but attached to his hand like never before! Seemed like we were walking forever! And then the real walk started! Up the ramps we went! Up the grades, make a turn and another grade. Finally to the upper deck concourse, only to start ANOTHER trek, this one oh so magnificent. Got on to the “gang plank” that was suspended over the lower deck seats, to arrive looking out over the majestic greenest field, under the bluest sky ever; marked in the whitest lines I have ever seen!  And the aroma! Who knew that a baseball game had an aroma! (Thankfully this is not about the Browns at Muni Stadium, cause then everyone will know WHAT aroma I would be referring to, but I digress.) I was smelling fresh open air, fresh mowed outfield/infield grass and baseball, cowhide included!  I stood at the opening to the upper deck and just stood there! In fact, I can see that all over again right now!

Imagery is what brings you, me, and even-gag-Yankee fans to the games! Sports fans are visual by nature and this was visual overload.  We look to see how the players set themselves in the field. How they pound the pocket of their glove. How they take the bat behind their neck, stretch, practice swing and point the bat at the pitcher and hold, thinking, “Bring it big guy. Just bring it!” Or when a second baseman, nano seconds before the pitch shifts a few feet, maybe just inches, one way or another and SMACK, the ball is hit and he is right there to make the play!  We wonder, how did he know? We see this over and over and are amazed each time.  And that all started to me more than 50 yrs ago!

Fast forward from then 30 years or go back 20 yrs from today and I’m no longer the little guy attached to the grip of a father. I’m the father, gripping the lil guy and giving him the EXACT same experience! Yep, my Dad passed on to me his love for baseball with this one singular trip to Municipal Stadium with seats in the upper deck. I then did the same in the same manner AND in the same baseball shrine, the elegant lady affectionately known as Cleveland Municipal Stadium to my lil guy who stood there in the exact same spot and looking into his eyes, expressing the same feeling!

Being a Tribe fan does have its ups and downs, its highs (not many) and lows (far too many), its good, its bad, and its ugly! But what it offers (and other sports as well) is a bond that creates a legacy for the “home team” that NEEDS to be passed on! It WAS to me and it IS by me! To my one reader (the other left I think for work) this answers the following question:

“Why did you renew your Tribe seasons tickets again? I don’t think I need to give you an answer…I already did!”

Coming out of the pen soon, will be my first favorite Tribe player and EVERYONE will be surprised!

 

@jnmentor   #AHTPDon  #NCSpeakEZCoach

Categories: General

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