Turning back time to a year ago, I would not have expected myself to write something related to sports.
I still remember reading an article written by Calvin, the Ebbtide’s former sports editor, about his first MLB experience.
Back then, I didn’t give a shit about sports, so I read his article with my stoic face and thought, “Oh. Okay.” Then I moved on without a second thought.
Little did I know that a year later, I would be watching humans hitting a ball with a bat and actually enjoying it.
How did I get there, though? Well, it started with Adelia becoming friends with a baseball maniac named Kazuhiro.
I was getting stuffed with baseball news everyday, so I started to Google the sport for the sake of understanding Kazuhiro’s words — like, what the heck is a fastball? Also, who on earth is Yu Darvish? I tried to find more information so that I could listen to him without being a bobblehead, but I never expected to get hooked on baseball.
I remember telling my host mom how I started to like baseball while watching the Cubs vs. the Indians in the World Series.
“Good for you,” said my host mom, who once tried hard to introduce me to the NFL world. “At least if you give up on trying to understand football, (you can) learn more about baseball.”
Fast forward a few months, autumn had changed into spring, I was browsing the Mariners schedule when I discovered they had College Night tickets. Thirteen bucks for a big game? I was definitely in.
I asked Kazuhiro if he wanted to watch the game with me and he nodded happily. We purchased our tickets for a Mariners vs. Rangers game.
We took some advice from Calvin’s article (“Be smart people, take the bus”) and hopped on the bus to Safeco Field.
I was amazed by the atmosphere inside the stadium. I had never been inside any national-level stadiums like Safeco before, so everything was new and interesting for me.
After we bought garlic fries and walked around the stadium, Kazuhiro and I went to our seats. The game started with the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner.” I stood up just like the other fans in the stadium without realizing that I hadn’t taken my baseball cap off, at least until Kazuhiro reminded me. With a sheepish grin, I took it off and learned something new — you don’t wear your cap when it’s time to sing the national anthem.
The game itself was fun. While watching the game, Kazuhiro explained to me the techniques used by the players, so my baseball knowledge was upgraded. I definitely had fun cheering on the Mariners; it was one of a few opportunities where I could scream as loud as possible without being judged by other people.
In the end, the score was a tie but, unfortunately, we had to go home before the extra innings started. We found out later that, after four extra innings, the Rangers won the game with a score of 3-1.
But to me, there was something more important than the score. I went home feeling proud of having finally watched a big sports game, where I was also able to see the Mariners team in person. I also gained new knowledge about baseball — a lot more than if I had just Googled it.
It was definitely life-changing. After that day, I finally understood why baseball and its fans are inseparable.