Movie Quote of the Day:
“Hear that? That’s Sgt. Donny Donowitz, but you might know him better by his nickname. The Bear Jew.”
– Lt. Aldo Raine, Inglourious Basterds (2009)
I’ve heard this story at least a hundred times from my Popaw. So I know it pretty well. When my Popaw joined the army, he was stationed in the New York City area. I’m not entirely certain the exact location. It just happened to be around the time that the New York Mets were just starting out in 1962. My Popaw and his army buddies would get free tickets to go see the Mets play. He would attend games all the time, and became a fan of the team because of it. So, I’ve always liked the Mets because they were my Popaw’s team.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it, but my Popaw is currently battling lymphoma. Ever since I found out about his diagnosis, I’ve been paying attention to how the Mets have been performing. I hate to sound morbid, but I want to see the Mets do well just in case this was the last MLB season that my Popaw got to witness.
It all began as a simple MLB scoreboard check on my phone when I would get off work. Then I started following the Mets on Twitter so that I could get updates on how they were doing. Lastly, I found the MLB At-Bat app and it allows me to listen to games. Every day I’m at work I listen to the Mets game. It also doesn’t hurt to start cheering for a team that is on the rise, like the Mets. They have a solid group of young talent on their roster, and they have stellar pitching. Ever since I hopped on the Mets bandwagon, it’s given my Popaw and I something to talk about and bond over besides WVU sports. That’s really what this has all been about.
Take all of what I said above with a grain of salt. I’ve had my fair share of “favorite teams.” When I was a kid, my favorite player was Chipper Jones so my favorite team was the Atlanta Braves. Then I went on a trip to Phoenix around the time the Diamondbacks won the World Series in 2001. I liked Randy Johnson and I became an Arizona Diamondbacks fan for a brief time. When I moved to Wisconsin I started to cheer for the Milwaukee Brewers, but that was mainly to try to fit in with kids in school.
When I moved back to Birmingham in 2005, I was in a baseball hiatus and quit paying attention to the MLB. I started to pay attention to the MLB again when Josh Hamilton burst onto the scene in 2008. I really started to like Hamilton. Particularly his story battling drug addiction and the fact that he credited his soberness to his Christian faith. I began cheering for the Texas Rangers during this time. However, after Hamilton left for the Los Angeles Angels, that was the unofficial end of my Rangers fanhood.
As my brother and dad once put it, I’m kind of a baseball whore. I won’t argue that, I do have a tendency to cheer for the hot team in the league. I’ve never been loyal to a baseball team, unlike football and basketball. I think my Popaw always wanted one of his grandsons to follow him as a Mets fan. Honestly, I hope I stay with the Mets. I’m tired of switching teams every five years; I’m developing a bad reputation with sports fans everywhere by not having a one true baseball team to cheer for.
I have a couple of friends from college who are Mets fans, and they’ve given me nothing but a warm welcome since I started cheering for the Mets. I’m dying to take my Popaw to New York to watch a Mets game at Citi Field. Hopefully he’ll be able to go before the end of this season. I don’t want to have to wait until Opening Day in April to take him.
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