11 July 2006

Mom's not the only one

After writing my post about Mom's baseball history, I found this story.

Kind of my own Wikipedia

When Ed was supplying me with helpful baseball facts, he paused at one point and said "I think that's right...I'm not positive..." and he looked a little concerned because there are many things you can make mistakes about and still think well of yourself, but misleading people about baseball statistics is just wrong.

"Oh, don't worry - if you don't get something right, someone'll leave a comment correcting it."

You see: I count on you guys. I really do.

My Mom the Fan

One day after my mother's family had moved from Grand Prairie, Texas to Cleveland, when she was about 13, Mom was asked by a classmate to ask my grandmother to write a note excusing her from school the next day. "What for?" Mom asked. "To attend Opening Day!" her classmate told her.

Mom did ask her mother, who did write the note. (Clearly, my grandmother was more permissive back then. I can't imagine that she would have written that note for me. But that's not the point.)

Mom got to go Opening Day at Cleveland Stadium (this was before Jacobs Field) and was part of a crowd of over 70,000 people. She had a wonderful time: she loved the breeze off of Lake Erie, the smell of the beautiful green grass, and the skillful - and famous! - players. (This was the Spring of 1950, for the baseball history fans. She remembers Early Wynn, Bob Feller, Mike Garcia, and Bob Lemon, especially.)

By the end of the summer, Mom was completed hooked. When school started in the fall, she tasked my grandmother with listening to the games and keeping score so that Mom could keep up with the Indians. Gram said that she didn't know how to keep score, but there's no denying my mother when she is determined, so Mom taught her how in half an hour.

There were a lot of day games back then, so Gram got lots of practice keeping score and Mom would come home to find a complete record of the game waiting for her. In the process, Gram also became a fan and remained one for the rest of her life. Gram died in 2002, so that's 52 years of rooting for the Indians. Three penants (1954, 1995, and 1997) but, alas, no World Series Championships.

Mom just missed a chance to have rooted them to a World Series win because they did beat the Boston Braves in '48. Mom's friend Ed (my source for the Indians' history) says that they were heading for a Series win in '94 but the stupid strike ended that chance.

For her sophomore year in college, Mom transferred from Miami University in Ohio to Washington University in St. Louis. Her folks had already moved to St. Louis and her father had attended Wash U, so it was pretty much fated. Anyway, Mom says that she could walk down the street and follow the games from the radios she could hear through the open windows and from the porches.

Ed says that Mom is still a devoted fan and listens to all the games on the radio and yells out the scores to him.

So when I root for baseball teams, I root for the Nats and Orioles, my local teams; the Indians, Mom's and Gram's team; and the Cardinals,the family's historical team because if we are from anywhere, we are from St. Louis. And, by the way, so are the Orioles - in 1954 the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles. What happened to the previous Orioles, I hear you cry? They moved to New York and eventually became ... the dreaded Yankees.