Friday, July 22, 2005

Boys of Summer...(or I was a baseball groupie)

I was just reading mr g's post about baseball and it brought back memories of going to games with my dad back in the 1980s. As I mentioned in the Atlanta post we lived in Marietta from 1983 to 1987. When I was 16 (1984) I went to my first baseball game with my then boyfriend and his family. They had moved there from San Francisco and were big Giants fans, so we went to a Braves-Giants game. I don't recall who won that night. Anyway, it got me interested in the Braves so I persuaded my parents to get tickets for a game later that summer.

That was the beginning of a family tradition of Atlanta baseball even though the Braves sucked back then. We went to games as often as we could. During the summer of 1985 I had a job and would buy tickets for me and my dad to go on his day off. As teenage girls are prone to do, I fell in love with one of the pitchers, Zane Smith:


There was just something about him that excited my little teenaged self, so I would try to get tickets whenever he was pitching. The next summer, 1986, I embarrassed myself in the biggest way. We had tickets to a Sunday afternoon game, so in my smitten, brazen, hormone-soaked mind I decided to make a big "I 'heart' (I painted a big red heart) Zane" banner. People took banners to games all the time so I figured I would too. The people with banners usually got put up on the huge TV screen in the stadium. My parents didn't know about it. They knew I was up to something, but I wanted it to be a surprise. I put on the skimpiest little outfit I had, dolled myself up (which I really could do back then), and packed my little tote bag with my banner. I wish I could remember the exact date that day. I might have it in a memory book somewhere. Maybe I'll look for it later.

Since it was a Sunday game it was fairly crowded. It took me a while to get up the guts to get my banner out. I don't remember which inning it was, but I finally just jumped up and held my banner to my parents' astonishment. They pointed at the big TV thing and said, "It's upside down!" Talk about embarrassed. Shit! My big moment and I ruined it by being in such a rush that I didn't make sure I had it rightside up. But it was seen. And by lots and lots of people (and on broadcast TV too!). I don't know if Zane Smith saw it or me, but I after I got over my embarrassment I was kind of proud of myself for being so bold. Of course, nothing came of it other than a good family joke about it being upside down.

So that's my baseball groupie story. By the way, we were also at the game where Bob Horner hit 4 home runs on July 6, 1986. I don't think that was the 'banner day' though. And after I went away to college and my parents moved back to TN the Braves got good and went to the World Series a few times. Go figure.

14 comments:

Rae Ann said...

madman, when you read this will you go back to the previous post's comments and email bipolarprincess?

DHammett said...

Rae Ann -

Fun story. There's just something about baseball that's just different than other sports. While it can be exciting, it's relaxing at the same time. The setting, the sights, the sounds, especially in the spring, can bring back memories of younger, more innocent times. Love it.

mr_g said...

Then you MUST remember Nakahoma, the Braves mascot...Is he still around? I can't imagine Native Americans are still letting them get away with that!

DHammett said...

*chants* Ahhhh-Ahhhh-Ah-Ah-Ah

madman said...

I enjoyed that story--I would liked to have been watching that day! Thanks for posting.

Rae Ann said...

dammit hammett (you do realize I'm going to call you that from now on? lol), you're funny! Yeah, baseball is all-American. Do you have a blog or website? Or do you like being mysterious?

mr g, I don't know if Nokahoma is still around. That was back in the pre-politically-correct days.

madman, you have a knack for making me blush!

SierraBella said...

I didn't know (or remember) you were from S.F.
Bet moving to Atlanta was a serious change for you.

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

You made me remember something! My Dad lives in Atlanta. Years ago, I took my children and a few more to a game LA @ Atl. I 1st talked w/security, then got the camera guy down to talk before the game started.

He clued us in on the middle of the 2nd, with the camera in our direction. All of us held up a sign and they talked about us on air during the game for a good 1 minute. My sister taped it back on the homefront. A really cool day for all the children to get autographs too.

(Thanks to a friendly security guard) Smiling @ the memories! Thank you.

Rae Ann said...

sierrabella, sorry I was confusing there. It was my boyfriend at the time who was from SF. I'm born and bred in TN except for those few years I lived in GA. But still, moving there was a big change!

suzie, that's a great story! Seems like a lot of people have great baseball memories of some kind.

BipolarPrincess said...

RaeAnn - Your so funny! I hate when I can look back at something I was so ashamed of and see the humor, and look back at things that were so important and become ashamed.

JODSTER said...

I'd do the same thing. I heart athletes, but I wouldn't get on camera. I guess grown men don't hold the same television demographics as hormonal teens.

Rae Ann said...

bp, yeah, hindsight.

welcome to Hoe Land, Jodster! it's been a really long time since I was a hormonal teen!

Anonymous said...

Your story brought back memories though I'm a northeast gal and my memories are ancient ones. Still, though my friends and I iinnocently began liking baseball and the players, we evolved into party girl types, sort of...went to spring training, etc. Did all of that wild and wacky stuff.

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