Sunday, July 31, 2011

I Love Baseball, But...

by Leann

I have been a baseball fan all my life. From the time I was a child, I listened to games on the radio with my dad. When games started being televised, we were always thrilled when "our" team, the Chicago White Sox were on that Saturday telecast. My first live sporting event? A White Sox game when we visited my grandmother in Chicago. My favorite player? Luis Aparicio. Okay, I'm giving away my age now, and you probably have no idea who that is, but that's how long I've been a fan. That's not the point of this blog, though.

We moved to Houston a long time ago and for the first time, I was able to truly enjoy a sport by regularly attending live games with my family. We had so much fun and I grew to love the Astros. If we weren't at the games, we listened or watched. We never missed one. For the last few years, the team has been losing. I kept watching, though. They are my team, after all.

The process of trading away all our good players began last season. My head understands the logic. We need to build for the future, get back to winning. But my heart doesn't understand at all. Our second baseman who retired three or four years ago--Craig Biggio--played his entire career in Houston. Twenty great years. That doesn't happen anymore and probably never will. It was the end of an era.

Last night, they traded my favorite player for "future" great players--as if it's possible to know they will be great. I understand it's a business. It is BIG business. For me, it drives home how the professional sports world is all about money, it is not about the fans. I am a sentimental fool, I know, but I feel the loss completely now that they've traded away our only All Star. I don't know the names of the people on "my" team anymore. I feel sad about that.

So come on college sports season!! Hurry up and get here. At least I can just enjoy the football and basketball seasons without that sense of attachment--and the fear that my sports family will leave without me getting to say goodbye. Any of you sports fans out there? If you're not, what "losses" are especially difficult as you age? For me, as I see the world change, I realize yup, here's one less thing I can enjoy. Gosh, sometimes I just hate it.