Why I Love Baseball
It has nothing to do with the sport itself.
- •A baseball cardWhen I was in 3rd grade, I was swinging a baseball bat in the parking lot of my apartment building while my parents were cleaning our car. An older man came up to me and asked, "Do you like baseball?" I nodded my head. He pulled out a baseball card. "Do you know Dennis Eckersley?" I nodded. He pulled out this baseball card out and gave it to me. "Eck is my friend. You should have this." My jaw dropped.
- •A random middle infielder from the 70'sIn sixth grade, I stopped by autograph alley at Fenway Park, where Rick Miller, a backup infielder from the 70's was signing amidst a noisy crowd. "Do you want this signed to someone?" "Yes! Joon. J-O-O-N." "What's the last letter?" "N" I said louder. He scribbled the name and I left. Afterwards, I looked down, saw the name and laughed. My parents, from time to time, still call me Jooa.
- •An autograph in a calendar bookIn eighth grade, my parents were at supermarket when my dad spotted a familiar, tall gentleman in the same aisle. "Isn't that Lester?" my dad asked. My mom had no idea. "Get his autograph for Joon! He's gonna kill you if you don't. Initially hesitant, my dad tapped Lester on the shoulder and got his signature in my mom's calendar book.
- •A lucky bounceIn 2012, I was at a Red Sox game with my dad against the Oakland Athletics. My dad went to get some pizza when Carl Crawford hit a foul ball that hit off the front of the upper deck. The ball dropped into my hands. I briefly juggled it into someone else's hands before getting a firm grasp on the ball. It's my only foul ball.
- •A greetingThe first time I walked into the Red Sox clubhouse as an intern for the Boston Herald in 2012, David Ortiz, who plays a role in half of my Top-10 non-family related memories, was heading to the batting cage. "Hey guys," he said with his thick Dominican accent. I almost fainted. Ever since I knew I wouldn't be the next ace of the Red Sox rotation, I figured writing about baseball was the next best thing. It's been so much more.