The Church of the Eternal Bleacher
All Southpaws Welcome
Welcome to the Church of the Eternal Bleacher, in the name of Timmy, Buster and Nate the Great, now and forever, you’re safe.
Practicing members are those who love baseball in any form, and hold it sacred to their code of successful living. To be part of our religion, you must merely agree that all things baseball have relevance, regardless of their rank or importance. Anyone can join, even Dodger fans, although we request that these poor souls seek counseling, so as to have some chance of life hereafter, in the giant Spring Training Complex in the sky.
Members who would have the highest standing, are those who unconditionally love baseball, and demonstrate that by having loyalty to no special team. Unfortunately, I have never met one. Most fans I know cling to a specific baseball team, almost certain to tie back to childhood and neighborhood connections. I am an exception, having (careful, now) bled Dodger Blue, until I was twenty-two years old, obviously still a child in some very fundamental ways.
Upon emerging from my military experience in 1973, I moved up to the Bay Area from SoCal. Bearing in mind that there was no internet to surf for baseball scores, or for any relevant baseball perspective available, and I could not find Vin Scully’s voice anywhere on the radio waves, I started listening to the Giants.
At first it was scandalous. This was the team that my Dodgers had always hated, and had given such fits to us all through the sixties. Heck, Juan Marichal actually took a bat to our catcher’s head, poor Johnny Roseboro. Though, even as a kid, it occurred to me that Johnny might possibly have said something rude to him, to have Juan suddenly trying to kill him on regional television.
So I found it impossible to listen to the Giants without gradually becoming enamored with this much maligned group of stalwart hearts, valiantly attempting to bring a World Championship to the great Northland. I became a member of the Church of the Eternal Bleacher.
Many members of our congregation have allegiance to teams other than the Giants, and we welcome them with open arms. Take my friend Dave. He is a Cleveland Indians fan. Almost unheard of in our parts (except for my brother-in-law, Mike) Tribe vibes are very intense, because Indians fans too have long sought a World Championship, their last one having occurred in 1948, sixty-three years ago, before Dave (or I) was even born.
I think of Dave as a baseball fan first and a Cleveland Indians fan second. That’s because he’s passionate about the Tribe, but he’s also knowledgeable about anything baseball. He likes the Giants, of course, and knows as much as any die-hard, but he also knows a lot about the movers and the shakers around both leagues. He has the advantage over me there, because I have always been a National League kind of guy. In 1962, when the Angels came down from above to Southern Cali, and joined the American League, I was not having any of it. After all, the Yankees were in the American League. Enough said about that.
To be completed tomorrow, Aug 27th.