Until last weekend, to me, baseball was a never-ending zero-action game played by a bunch of superstitious but neatly dressed players, spitting, running around and occasionally hitting or catching a tiny ball. The (lack of) action was commented by experts who used cryptic terms such as “bottom of the ninth,” “what an inning!” and “two balls one strike.”
“Why do you like baseball?” I asked Feng many times.
“Because it’s all about strategy! See, when this player blah blah blah blah…”
Well, Feng doesn’t really say “blah blah blah” but that’s what I hear about two minutes of him dissecting the merits of MLB.
I still agreed to go see a game because 1) we were heading to Toronto for a short road trip and it was something fun to do 2) I was curious to see a live game.
So we drove to Toronto with tickets to see the Blue Jays vs. the Oakland Athletics. At 1 p.m., we joined the crowd of blue-clad fans walking down Yonge Street toward the Rogers Centre, home to the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball. It was a sunny day, the roof was open and the atmosphere outside the stadium was festive. Pretty much everyone was entering the stadium with a hot dog in hand (except us because we had dim sum in Chinatown instead) without rushing. Apparently, in baseball, it doesn’t really matter when the game starts or what’s going on. Unlike at a hockey game where everyone sits tight during each of the three twenty-minute periods, fans wandered around the stadium during the entire game.
Mark immediately loved baseball. I’m not sure whether it’s a good thing (yay, something caught his interest!) or a bad thing (crap, I’m going to have to drive him to practise, ain’t I?) but watching him studying the game was fun. Plus—sorry, mommy moment here—he clapped his hands for the first time. I mean, technically he could clap his hands before, but he had never done it for cheering. Well, he cheered every two seconds during the game.
As a young fan, Mark had the chance to throw a ball in the “kid’s zone” and he won some memorabilia. Well, it’s unlikely we will use the Blue Jays hologram placemat at the dinner table but still, it was nice. I did not buy the “I love BJ” tee though, because… well, I don’t even know where to start here.
I wish I could say I had a revelation and I suddenly completely understood the game but I did not. I can name a few players, sure. But I was mostly busy taking pictures, enjoying the amazing view of the CN Tower and soaking up the atmosphere—after all, maybe that’s what baseball is all about. Sit down, relax and cheer once in a while.