Even now words fail me

You may be wondering why I am writing this post so late.  So long after.  I’ve been a Phillies fan for over a year now and a Reds for just one short season.  I’ve been to Phillies games and I’ve posted about the excitement and the energy of being at a game and watching my team win.  I usually can’t wait to talk about it.

Last night’s experience watching the Reds take the NL Central Championship is like nothing I can really describe.  This is the main reason I didn’t do more than post pictures thus far.  I had to have almost a full 24 hours to wrap my head around the experience before I could truly get down what last night was like.

If you’ve been around this blog or over at Blogging Mama, you know I love baseball.  I love every bit and part and fact and even all the incessant stats that go along with it.  Baseball is a religion.  I’m not the person who originally wrote that but I believe it with all my heart.

Just like I believe the Reds can do anything. 

The game started pretty much like most others for me.  I arrived early (actually later than my usual, about six o’clock.)  I wandered into the stadium and right away I felt it.  The Magic was on the tip of everyone’s fingers.  No one really dared to say the words out loud, Division Champions, to do so would jinx the entire thing.  Baseball and it’s fans are nothing if not superstitious.

I made my way to the designated Moon Deck where I had planned to be a part of the Reds Tweet Up event (more info here).  I sat watching the players warm up, the fans start to trickle in and that feeling of anxiety started.  What if I witnessed something spectacular tonight?  What if Reds fans finally got to see their team walk off as a victor?

That pulsing energy never really left and it only grew as the grounds crew finished their preparations and the players were announced.  I found myself sitting next to several lovely ladies, and we chatted idly about the Reds.  They were both longtime fans, I was the newbie.  It didn’t matter much; we were all excited and slightly nervous for what was to come.

I have to pause because I can’t recall the words I want to use to describe the actual game.  It was tough and a battle from the get-go.  When Drew Stubbs (a player who deserves so much recognition in my eyes) made that heart stopping catch; I was right there, mere twenty feet away, if that.  The crowd, myself included, went absolutely wild.  We were celebrating not only a spectacular catch, but a moment that had Magic written all over it.  If that ball had had a little more to it, maybe I wouldn’t be writing this today.  Maybe I would still be writing about the hopeful win of the Reds.

The fans are amazing.  Just as they grumble and gripe, those around me truly believed in the Magic of the Reds.  Listening to the group of men behind me heckling, nothing made me smile more.

Almost nothing.

With the Reds down a run, then tied, everyone was on their feet screaming and yelling; I don’t know if my voice or my hands have recovered from all of that yet.   I don’t even know if I truly can see Bruce stepping to the plate, it’s all so jumbled up in a blurry vision of…if I had to say anything it would be pride.  I’m proud of the way the Reds battled for a good pitch staying alive and working so hard to get not only themselves but also their fans what they deserved; a Championship Title.

When that ball just kept going and going, myself like everyone around me and everyone in the stadium went crazy.  Jumping. Screaming. Hugging. Absolute and total elation lifted the crowd as the fireworks went off and the Reds converged on the field in triumph.  I can’t even write those words without getting chills.

It was such a moment in my early love of baseball, that I don’t think I will ever forget it.  I’ll be telling my children about it for years.  The celebration on the field went on long after I, reluctantly, had to leave for home.  I wish I could have stayed.  But I took that elated and energized feeling home with me and carried it long into the wee hours of the morning unable to sleep.  Even today, I’m sitting in awe unable to process what I had the honor of being able to witness.

For me it was, and has, been an honor to share in the Reds 2010 season.  I am a fan.  And I believe in Magic.

Originally published at The (Virgin’s) Guide To Baseball

Fan flops and flips

Bear with me if you will because this isn’t specifically all about baseball.  It’s about fans in general.  The situation has to do with baseball fans but I think it can go across all sports and all fandom.

Reds fans are twitchy.  They lose one game and it’s all doom and gloom.  The sky is falling.  They might as well turn off the field lights.  Forever.  One pitcher throws an admittedly bad few innings (and blames no one but himself by the way) and already the “fans” are calling for them to be traded into oblivion.

To which I can only say…

What’s up with that?

Have you ever been a Phillies fan?  Have you ever seen how horrible they can be?  Do you think Phillies fans wench and moan?  Absolutely.  They do it with amazing style.  In fact, I don’t know another sport that has as awesome of a Wench and Moan fan base than Philly sports.

But at the end of the conversation there is always the phrase “We’ll get them the next game!”  Because Phillies fans are true fans.  That’s what fans do.  They step up and say yeah, they were crap this game but we still love them.

I haven’t really seen a Reds fan yet that does this.  Do I think the recent meltdown in the 9th when we needed one single strike to win the game was cool?  (Not only did we not get a strike, the Pirates drove in three runs…to win.)

I did not think that was cool.  In fact, it greatly sucked.  Am I still believing in my team?

Absolutely.  Because I am a fan.  My job is to support the team and that even means supporting them when they don’t win a game.  How else can we expect them to climb out of the hole and perform if they don’t get any fan support?

Just as you need run support and field support you also need fan support.  I’m not on a ‘bandwagon’ for the Reds.  If you’re on a wagon, you can always fall off. 

I am a Reds fan.  Win or lose.

What team do you support?  Do you know people who have this kind of attitude (about anything)?

Beating the dead horse (yes, even more baseball…)

So is it a great time to be a baseball fan or what?  Especially if you’re a Phillies fan or a Reds fan.

But what if you’re both??!!

The Phillies took care of the Nationals today 6 – zilcho.  They’re hitting their groove only a couple of games back from first in the National League.

They have this guy as a fan:

And they have the Phanatic.  Who wouldn’t want to get shaggalicious with the Phanatic?!? (yes I’m claiming shaggalicious as a new word…)

Just look at that yummy green goodness…

Phanatic doing Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance was quite stirring too.  OMG click the link.  I can’t embed the video cause it’s from MLB but just do it.  Prepare to laugh.

One of the statues of Phanatic placed around Philadelphia this summer

I know my recent top defection to the Reds caused some upset in the house but really, look at the Reds.  Are they on a tear or what?  Huh?  Swept the Diamondbacks, took 2 out of 3 from the Dodgers and now onward to take care of Giants.  And they are Gonna Take Care of Bizz-ness.

Their mascot hasn’t got anything on the Phanatic of course (Mr. Redlegs, please someone enlighten me about why they call the Reds redlegs??)  But when youre winning the way the Reds are, who cares what your mascot looks like right?

Reds are 3.5 games over the Cardinals (whom I refer to as the Kentucky Fried Cardinals, hehe) and sitting in the sweet spot of FIRST place in the Central.  
Really, how can you not love baseball right now?  I’ll see you Saturday at Great American Ballpark where the Reds are gonna trounce some baby bears…(that would be the Cubs for the rest of you).
*I promise I’m going to try to stop talking baseball here but if or rather when my teams make the playoffs, just grin and bear it people!  I did think of making  Baseball for Women site but it seems someone already has.  

**Okay since Robin going to MAKE ME I’m making a baseball blog geared for women.  Would you read it?  Let me know!

It’s official, I’d die a happy woman

I got to sit next HIM at dinner Sunday night.  I love me some Joey Votto (who is quite possibly the nicest guy around).

Me and Joey Votto

And a photo op with Mr Harang as well

Aaron Harang July 18 2010

The Reds Hall of Fame Gala was excellent.  I’m too tired to blog more than that, so I guess you just get pictures.

Why I love Baseball

As some of you might have noticed, I’ve become a HUGE baseball fan of late.  Actually it started when we still lived in Germany.  Last year before and including the run-up to the World Series (when yes, I not only was living in Philly but considered myself a #1 Phillies fan) I started loving baseball.

Citizens Bank Ballpark, Philadelphia

Now that I live outside Cincinnati, I was content to watch Reds games and still be a Phillies fan.  I even wore my Phillies hat to not only the Phillies/Reds game June 30 but to a regular Reds game (they were playing the lowly Pirates.)

Last week things changed.  As CP and Thor have commented

I’ve gone to the dark side.

That is, I rooted against the Phillies for the Reds/Phillies series in Philadelphia last Friday-Sunday.  The Reds admittedly got swept four games to none.  That was seriously hard to take as I sat (as the only member) on the Reds side of the couch with my hat while my family all sat on the other side of the couch, the Phillies side.

Thor did not let me live down a single second of the Phillies four wins. In fact, the kid needs a little lesson on sportsmanship if you want my opinion about the whole thing.

Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati

I like baseball.  Even though I never watched a single game on TV that I can remember growing up (my dad liked football – which I despise.)  I went to a few minor league Spokane Indians games as a child.  But baseball was neither here nor there for me.  I had a take it or leave it attitude.  Until a few years ago.

I started enjoying going to a few games when we visited the US.  I got wrapped up in the excitement of the crowd (there is no crowd like a Phillies crowd).  Then I started looking online for the update on the score and listened via the Ramstein Air Base radio station in Germany.  When we moved back to Philly last July, I actually started watching games.  And not just watching games but actually enjoying them.  I even went so far as to be superstitious about the playoffs believing that if they won one night, I would have to do the exact same thing the next night to ensure that they won again.

Baseball is insane that way.

Joey Votto

Since we moved to Cincinnati, Great American Ballpark is twenty minutes away.  Tickets are cheap compared to Philly because for whatever reason, no one here cares about the first place Reds.  I have no idea why.  They have a great team (did I mention they’re in first place in their division?)  They have four players headed to the All-Star Game Tuesday (Rolen, Phillips, Rhodes, Votto).  They have an amazing pitching bullpen (Hello? Did anyone see Wood’s almost perfect game the other night?)

They are winning.  And yet no one here seems to care.  But I do.


I love baseball.  I love watching baseball.  It’s true you can see better on tv, food and drink is free and the seats are more comfortable but there’s just something about going to the ballpark that doesn’t top that.  Nope, I’ll take sitting in a hard plastic seat, under the glare of a hot sun, surrounded by people hawking concessions for everything from beer to cotton candy to ices.

Gratuitous shot of Votto’s butt

Give me the ballpark.  The crowd.  The sound of the crack against the bat.  The chance to stand up and scream as Votto hits another impressive home run.  Baseball is where it’s at for me.

Where do you like to spend your time?  Do you have something you’re passionate about?