Monday, April 09, 2007
Why? Its a question directed at me a lot lately. "SBF, Why do you attend each and every game?" "SBF-Why do write such a detailed account of every Nationals game at RFK Stadium?" and, " SBF-Why do you care so much?"
My answers could be long enough to rival the book "WAR & PEACE". But, surely, no one wants to read my dissertation of such length. So to answer those questions, here's the Crib Notes Version.
There is no doubt, I love the game of baseball, have enjoyed playing and watching this great game since my earliest fondest memories as a child. At every opportunity, throughout childhood, my teenage years and, fortunately, through my early 20's, I played baseball at every conceivable level, including the pros. Even before my playing days were up, I immersed myself in Baseball History, Trivia and the Proper Way to play the game. For me, Baseball has, and always will be, a year round sport. No other Sport, no other pastimes, come close to gaining the amount of attention I give to Baseball.
This Geometrically Beautiful Game called Baseball is special, because your team can't win any game until you get that final out. There really are no Timeouts. You can't stop the clock. You can't send in the 'Prevent Defense' or spread out your team on the court in a vain attempt, to hide your deficiencies--and, win the game on the run. In baseball, you simply have to win. There is nothing better in sport, anywhere. To my grave, I will take that belief.
As I have well documented throughout the history of The Nats320 blog, I loved My Washington Senators, and especially, Frank Howard. When MLB approved their move to Dallas-Ft.Worth in 1971, I was crushed. My parents always telling me, I was never quite the same fun loving kid after My Senators left town.
Yet, I continued to play and enjoy the game--loving every minute of it. And, I forever vowed, to support any team that eventually returned to MY HOMETOWN, Washington, DC. The Day, The Montreal Expos were officially announced as moving to DC, was one of the happiest days of my ADULT LIFE!! And, I cried, openly--writing about it emotionally. A Day I will NEVER FORGET.
The African Queen and I became Season Ticket Holders. And, early on, in 2005, it became apparent how much I had missed watching my Hometown Team. Each and every game that Inaugural Season, I found myself more and more compelled to attend, in person, every single home game at RFK STADIUM. The more Sohna and I went to the ballpark, the happier and content I became. The African Queen saying she had never seen me so relaxed, in our 20 some odd years together. And, let me tell, we've been through a tremendous amount, participating in the real world--just look at us.
Fortunately, its not only the return of Baseball to Washington, DC that keeps us coming for every scheduled ballgame. The African Queen and I met and now cherish a significant amount of baseball friends, all first greeted at RFK Stadium. First, we realized the luck of the draw, and being placed in Section 320, with so many like minded, fun loving, devoted, baseball and Washington Nationals Fans. Mr.& Mrs. MickNats, "The Noise Boys"--SayHeyKlib, BangTheDrumNatly, RallyTimeRichard, CanadaJim and Kentucky Rob. There is no better in-game entertainment at ANY BALLPARK in America, when "THE NOISE BOYS" all post up at a Nationals Game Together. They are a tremendous amount of fun. Along with Andy, SenatorNat, Jim, Troy, Julie, Ms.Zimmy, Shawn, Abby, Becky & Mike, along with The Flyboys (& FlyGirl Karen) from Andrews. And, of course Our Honorary Members--Iris, Biff, Colleen & Jeff--plus MY BEST FRIEND--SCREECH!! How this mishmash of fans have joined together in friendship-a great story all its own. Hopefully to last for years to come.
As our friendships grew, I continually undated our Section 320 friends with comments and opinion about Our Washington Nationals. Enough so, that SayHeyKlib decided to start The Nats320 Blog, to give me someplace to expand my thoughts, vent at times, and appreciate my fandom a little bit more. Never did I realize to what level I would take it.
Andy was off to Holland on a Business/Vacation Week in early June, 2006. The Nats320 blog had just started in late May--2006, and really not much was happening on the site. Andy didn't wish to miss out on the details of all The Nats Games that week at home, so I agreed to email him complete details. DID I EVER GO TO TOWN!! Andy would tell me later, my write-ups, holding out the outcome to the final lines, tossing in all the fan and crowd experiences, made him feel like he was actually at the games. So, I decided to transfer those emails to TheNats320 Blog and add pictures. Was I ever surprised, when people started to comment.
Even after we started The Nats320 Blog, I had never read any of the other blogs. In fact, did not really know they existed. Surprised I was, to find out there was an entire Universe of Nationals Bloggers, all covering their own niche. I loved it and started to comment on others sites. When Brandon from The Curly "W" blog first linked The Nats320 Blog from his site, even more came to read my musings. Really, I couldn't believe it. Vividly, I remember saying to The African Queen: "Wow, people really do care, that's good."
What I found, was that readers enjoyed my personal stories, my game details and the fun we always enjoy at RFK Stadium in Section 320, whether The Nationals Win or Lose. As it turned out, The Team was watching. And, when officials from Our Washington Nationals, seeing Sohna & I at every single home game, approached me about some things I wrote in late 2006, I knew I had hit a responsive cord.
Through it all, we have been able to slowly cultivate some wonderful relationships. And, in the process not only raise my fandom to a new level, but, hopefully pass along fun, enjoyment, information and some serious detail, FROM A FANS VIEW, about the team we really all care about. I don't care whether you are saluting them or bitching about them. They are still our team, Our Washington Nationals. A Major League Baseball Hometown Team, we did not enjoy on any level, for over three decades.
As I stated at the beginning, I love Baseball, Our Washington Nationals, Our Friends, and make no mistake about it, producing The Nats320 Blog. This Project Now Dear To My Heart. Thank all of you for reading, and the many that were kind enough to stop by and visit Sohna and I at RFK Stadium this past week. Those many kind words from countless visitors, we will cherish forever. Please stop by and visit--YOU ARE WELCOME ANYTIME! Your appreciations meant so very much us!!
Sohna and I felt it important to publicly say, Our Thanks.