In the 2015 MLB season, I did not make it to a single Atlanta Braves baseball game, but I did go to Opening Day of another team and I saw the Yankees play the Mets. Basically, I did everything a bad Braves fan should do short of cheering for the Phillies.
It all started when my dad and I planned a four day adventure to Arizona in April. I, being the sport-loving-sneaky-daughter I am, looked up the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball schedule. To my delight, the opening of the baseball season would take place while we were in Arizona! I bought the tickets to Opening Day without his permission and made sure we worked the game into our schedule.
A few weeks later, after a long sleepless drive (for my dad), we pulled into a dark parking lot in Phoenix, Arizona and began to walk to the stadium.
Our seats were high in the sky looking down over a vast green field. The Diamondbacks were playing the San Francisco Giants, and I was sporting my Buster Posey t-shirt jersey. Some jeering came from the gentlemen in the seat behind us. I explained that we were from Georgia visiting Arizona, and that the catcher for the Giants was from Georgia! I had to support the local boy.
Daddy and I had a great time cutting up with the Arizona fans and watching baseball. We were so excited to be at Opening Day and add another stadium to our list.
Matilda and I ventured to New York City in September. Again, I knew that baseball season was still going that that in NYC, I had twice the chance to catch some games. Little did I know that we would catch one of the best games!
I bought us tickets to the game without asking Matilda. I quite literally bought them and upon her arrival to America, I told her that I had purchased the tickets. She didn’t complain because she too enjoys sports.
Matilda has traveled like me and understands that sometimes to get a good idea of what a culture is really like, one must go to the local sporting event. In New York, that is baseball.
On a Sunday night, she and I hopped onto the subway riding into the unknown. I had google maps that gave us directions but no real understanding of where we were going.
We arrived at Citi Field, home of the Mets, to a sea of orange and blue and white and black pinstripes. People yelled in Yankee accents across the isle to one another. Fans cheered and booed at respective players. They cheered when the manager stormed the field to yell at the ump. And, my favorite of all, they had the most eclectic sense of chants. The Yankees would yell, “Let’s go Yankees!” And in the brief pause between chants, the Mets would follow with, “Yankees suck!” I was rather appalled by this but cannot complain as I know of the things fans will yell at each other at Auburn vs Alabama football games. I think the things that shocked me most was how the entire stadium erupted into these chants together.
I had never seen anything like it. I remember attending a Braves vs Yankees game in Atlanta about seven years ago, but that was nothing compared to what I saw in New York.
Baseball really is America’s game. It’s our pastime. I’m so happy to love sports as I do. And attending a baseball game really is one of the best ways to get a good feel of local culture.