Sunday, October 5

I used to love baseball

I used to love baseball and I used to love the Expos. I remember, as a teenager, meticulously going up and down the radio dial some nights trying to find a broadcast of the games, and watching any game that was on TV. Then, maybe 15 years ago, for some reason I don't know why, I couldn't watch baseball anymore. I just found it incredibly boring. I didn't watch, and didn't get caught up in it, when the BlueJays won it all, and probably haven't watched more than a couple of innings total in the past 10 years.

Until this year. I didn't watch a single game all year, never kept up with the statistics at all, except with a rough gauge as to where the Expos were in the standings. But I find myself, inexplicably, watching this year's playoffs. I don't know why. But I'm kind of enjoying baseball again.

Watching baseball yesterday reminded me of my greatest moment as an Expos fan. It was 1983, and I and my friend Rob Kelly went to Montreal to watch a few games in person. At one game, the old veteran Woody Fryman was pitching for the Expos. I think, that year, Woody Fryman, who was 43, had pitched only a handful of innings and his ERA was something like 20. Not good. Anyway, he was out there, late in the game, for a rare appearance. I don't remember the details of this particular game; who was winning and stuff. But the crowd was quiet. My friend and I, who'd both been enjoying the liquid concessions during the game, decided to start a rally cry for the Woodman. So we stood up and started chanting "Let's go Woody, let's go." Nobody joined us, but we were persistent. Slowly, we began to hear the chant coming from other areas of the Big O. Eventually, most of the crowd was chanting with us. It was a pretty cool feeling knowing we started it. I don't know if it helped Woody or not. That, quite possibly, may have been the last inning he ever pitched.

That was my greatest moment as a baseball fan. Maybe that's why I gave up on baseball.

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