I love baseball - share your best memories (1 Viewer)

bergs

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After some reindeer loving Swede cluttered up Liftapint’s thread with frozen drivel verbal custard, he recommended I create this thread.

So, post your fondest baseball memories. Or, if you post something else, you can suck my balls.

Here’s mine:

***** Being at the old Yankee Stadium in the bottom of the 8th, Yankees up. It’s summer, I’m sweating but I’m slightly drunk and happy. “Enter Sandman” comes over the PA. The crowd starts to come to life. The bullpen door opens. #42 shuffles out and the best closer in the history of baseball starts his slow, deliberate jog to the mound. I’m finishing my last beer. It’s gonna be rowdy and loud on the crowded 100 year old ramps to the exits after Mo shuts this down with 94mph cutters.

***** Still at the old Stadium. I’m keeping the book and look down and realize that Pedro grooved that slider to Chili Davis in the 2nd, but he just got Jeter to bail out on a curveball that crossed over for an inside strike. Jeter looks back at the Yankees dugout and just laughs. Pedro simply isn’t hittable tonight. I start counting the Yankees hits. I start at 1 and don’t get any further. 15Ks and he’s still going. He’d end up with a complete game 1 hitter and 17K/Z Pedro is having the best game of his life on a hot September night. Yanks are going to lose but I don’t even care - this is special..

***** It’s 1999 and my buddy and I are at the Bank One Ballpark (now Chase Field) in Phoenix. The 32 oz beers are cheap by ballpark standards and they’re flowing like water. Our seats are directly behind the plate. We’re both keeping the book. We both drunken look at each other in the 6th. Randy Johnson is pitching a real gem - it’s a one hitter….but journeyman Jose Jimenez for St Louis is throwing a goddamn no-no. We’re both Cardinals fans now. Actually, we’re Jimenez fans. Even the Diamondback fans are Jimenez fans.

He closed it out. We go to a bar next to the ballpark and watch ourselves behind the plate on SportCenter. A band that either is Weezer or is the best Weezer cover band ever is unpacking their gear. We have a 6a tee time. We’re not leaving the bar.

***** I’m at Fenway. I’m playing in a charitable softball game. The softballs are all deadened because they’re having and could damage seats if we parked one with these aluminum bats, but I lay into one and one hop it off the venerable Green Monster. I can still hear the sound it made hitting the wall. I get thrown out at third on a headfirst slide. Doesn’t even matter. Later I just threw a ball off the Monster over and over again and fielded it and tried to hit a relay guy halfway between the Wall and third. Just an awesome experience.

***** Back at Fenway. It’s Patriot’s Day. It’s cold. It’s Boston Marathon day. Baseball starts at 11a. We have bleacher seats, and the Yankees are in town. I’m wearing an old and ratty #21 Paul Oneil jersey. Jason Giambi digs in - the crowd is drunk, I’m drunk, everyone is feeling a bit chippy.

Fans start chanting “STER-OIDS…STER-OIDS” at Giambi. He gets a good cut at a fastball up and over the plate and absolutely parks it. I stand up and face the entirety of BoSox Nation in the bleachers. My buddy goes “oh christ” under his breath and tries to shrink into the bleacher seat. I raise my arms and start screaming “DING DONG…DING DONG” as I wave my arms back and forth to commemorate the Giambi home and Yankees lead.

I sit back down. I get an open bottle of apple juice thrown at me. I turn to my buddy and he says “they don’t serve apple juice here”. Oh, fuck.

***** I’m 6 years old. My dad, who hates driving, makes the 3 hour trek down to Yankee Stadium for my first baseball game. I’ve got my glove, my jersey, my hat - I’m beyond excited.

We get to the Stadium. It’s Yankees/Sox. It’s also bat day. Every fan gets an 18 inch wooden commemorative bat.

This is the 70s. It’s the Bronx Zoo days.

By the end of the third, we’re leaving. Several people have been beaten and are bloodied. Fights have erupted everywhere.

I spend the next 3 years telling friends at school not to go to baseball games because they’re all violent and fans can beat each other like it’s the WWF. LOL.

Baseball can be a slow sport to watch sometimes, but there is nothing like taking in a good game live on a hot day with a cold beverage.
 
It's 2007 and Barry Bonds was on the verge of breaking Hank Aaron's all time Home Run record. I just recieved a gift from a client: access to their ticket broker to any 3 games I want. Anywhere. I'd never been to Petco at that point so there was only one thing to do: Road Trip!

Barry was sitting on 754 & my roommate & I were a couple rows back of the Padres dugout. The place was PACKED. Maybe 1/4 Giants fans & the other 3/4 Anti-Barry fans. Especially in my section.

I'm of course wearing my authentic Bonds jersey from '97 w/ Jackie Robinson patch so everyone is chatting me up. Super friendly place. Almost Milwaukee like. Even made a beer bet with each of the 4 guys wearing t shirts lined up that read 755* that he would hit a HR that night.

1st 3 ab's the crowd booed him & then booed even louder when he was pitched around for walks. (The flashes from the cameras were amazing. Better than the fireworks after the game) Could have been 4 walks, I wasn't too sober at that point as it was a long drive & we spent a fair amount of time on the top of the Western Metal Supply building before the game where there was a nice bar.

His 4th (maybe 5th) ab he crushed it & every fan stood up and cheered. Even the 4 guys wearing the shirts. I lost my voice & the Giants eventually ended up losing the game in extras. It didn't matter. Complete strangers who hated the best player I've ever seen were buying me beers & we all* celebrated #755 together.

*Except Selig.
 
Mid 70’s, Gainesville, FL little league baseball. I played 2B, but batted late, like 8th or so. These were days when there was a coach, but just one (not like today when they’d be 3-4 coaches / Dad’s helping out the head coach). Also no parents came to practices or sometimes even to the games.

Except on my team, there was one dad who came to every practice, every game. Just sat in the stands, didn’t say a word. He had two boys on the team, Mike and Steve. They were the best players on the team, alternated btw pitching and SS.

They always came to the ball field in a Cadillac. It had a personalized FL license plate - 61IN61
I was like 12, so the significance didn’t really strike me at the time.

I remember seeing Mike and Steve on TV in 1998 on the night that Mark McGwire broke their Dad’s record for HR’s in a season. Of course he was taking PED’s, but anyway. As I coached both my boys years later I’ve always wondered what it was like for my lone LL coach to have Roger Maris watching you coach his kids at practice/games.
 
Sticky McShnickens! Although it’s not always the most exciting sport to watch, it requires tons of thinking and anticipation. I’ve seen some of the craziest plays in all of sports from baseball. One of my favorite memories was 4th of July 2012 at a Boise Hawks game. Hawks won and watched an awesome firework show with a beautiful woman. It doesn’t get much better than that.
 
1. September 30, 2014.
Royals 9-8 win over the Oakland A’s in 12 innings of the AL Wild Card game after Salvador Perez hit a walk off single to go to the ALDS. My brother and I bought standing room only tickets about two hours before the game.
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2. September 29, 1993.
George Brett’s last home game. We sat way up in the upper deck. I still have the ticket stubs.
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3. August 8, 2002.
My only time at Fenway Park which IMO is the greatest stadium in MLB. The Red Sox lost 3-2 to the Oakland A’s. It was a promo night and they were giving out hats at the gate… it’s trashed now but I still wear it.
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My favorite baseball game memory

OK, here we go, we got a real pressure cooker going here
Two down, nobody on, no score, bottom of the ninth
There's the wind-up, and there it is
A line shot up the middle, look at him go
This boy can really fly
He's rounding first and really turning it on now
He's not letting up at all, he's gonna try for second
The ball is bobbled out in the center
And here comes the throw and what a throw
He's gonna slide in head first
Here he comes, he's out
No, wait, safe, safe at second base
This kid really makes things happen out there
Batter steps up to the plate
Here's the pitch, he's going
And what a jump he's got
He's trying for third
Here's the throw
It's in the dirt, safe at third
Holy cow, stolen base
He's taking a pretty big lead out there
Almost daring them to pick him off
The pitcher glances over, winds-up and it's bunted
Bunted down the third base line
The suicide squeeze is on
Here he comes, squeeze play, it's gonna be close
Here's the throw, here's the play at the plate
Holy cow, I think he's gonna make it
 
I don't have any significant historical baseball memories, but the highlight of every summer growing up was going to a game with my dad and brothers. It was almost always a day game, and as we approached old Busch Stadium I remember that the first glimpse of the emerald green of the grass through the tunnels down to the field was truly magical every time, like a portal had opened to a different world. Those lazy summer afternoons at the ballpark felt like a piece of heaven on earth, and I wouldn't trade those memories for anything. I just hope to be able to give my boys the same experience and love for the game.
 
Reading the box scores and newspaper game stories waiting for the school bus in 95 with this lineup

Kenny Lofton
Carlos Baegra
Eddie Martinez mr 3000
Joey belle
Jim thome
Omar vizquel
Manny freakin Ramirez batting 7th!

Second moment? Waking up passed out on the staircase of a parking deck with no phone after being over served opening day.

Also leaving the Indians game and listening to the radio of the one largest come from behind wins. Indians down 12 in the 7th inning.


And Tom Hamilton is the best voice on baseball radio.


Baseball is a snooze fest now unfortunately, call me a millennial. Go Tribe!
 
2004 World Series Game 2 at Fenway park, AKA Schillings second bloody sock game. Went with my 86 year old grandfather, who had lived his entire life during the Bambino curse. It was the last home game the Sox would play that Series as they went on to Sweep the Cardinals in 4 Games and reverse the curse.

The most emotional game for me was opening day 2005, and seeing them raise the banner.
 
My favorite memory was going to Game 3 of the 1999 ALCS, Pedro vs. Roger. Clemens got pulled after 2 innings and Martinez was masterful, striking out 12. We were sitting right in front of the guys hanging the Ks, so our section was crazy. It was an absolute blast.

I also got to see Derek Lowe's no-hitter, I forget the year. But I remember being annoyed beforehand that my tickets were for yet another Derek Lowe start.
 
If you don't know Dave Dravecky's story I highly suggest you read about it. You dont have to be a Giants fan or even a baseball fan to appreciate it...

August 10 1989: The Comeback Game

I'll ruin the story if I try to tell it so please google it. All I remember is I believe it's the only time in my life Ive ever cried at a baseball game...
 
Every time I'm at a game I get an incredible feeling when stepping out of the tunnel and seeing the field for the first time. The beautiful, manicured field, the rich clay dirt color deepened by fresh water, the bright blue sky...always brings a certain feeling that all is right at that moment. Always get nostalgic while all the thoughts and feelings of my lifetime of baseball come flooding back.
 
Can I share my worst memory?

I drove to NY for Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. You probably know the rest.
I remember the Yanks were up 3-0 in the 2004 ALCS, and Game 3 was a blowout.

I called up my best friend and said “hey I gotta tell you something crazy” and he goes “sure in a minute but I actually think the Bombers can lose this series”. I replied “fuck, yeah, that’s what I was going to tell you.”

It was a really weird series in that there was a clear path to the Yanks losing if you followed them all year. Game 4 became sort of a must-win game and the blowout the night before usually means the other teams wins the next night.

If they lost game 4, the Sox had Pedro in Game 5 who was NOT going to lose against a tired Moose with no rest, and they had a couple terrible options for Game 6 in Lieber and Brown.

Kevin Fucking Brown. I had won a $250 bet the year before when the Yankees acquired him. I said he wouldn’t make 24 regular season starts that year for NYY. He had a winning record late in the season and I was getting ready to pay off my friend when we watched his 22nd or 23rd start. He got shelled and went into the dugout, punched a phone, broke his hand, and was out until the postseason. PAY DAT MAHHN HIIZZ MOOOONEY.

Anyway, if they lost Game 4, Game 5 was a guaranteed loss, Game 6 was going to be the whole series, and if Brown went in Game 7 I was considering not even watching. That fucking guy was TERRIBLE.

Sure enough we end up in a Game 7. I watched it with my wife. We were screwed, I knew it after Game 4. Brown doesn’t make it out of the 2nd inning. Their reliever throws an absolute cockshot to Damon who turns on it with the bases juiced.

I’ve still never seen that ball land. He made contact, I screamed “FUUUUCK” and threw the remote at the TV, breaking the remote and turning off the TV. Went out to dinner.

Before Game 4 started, our little old lady who managed our office said “I want to make a bet with you”. She had never made a sports wager in her life and she wanted to bet $100 that the Sox would win the series. I’m like “NYY is up 3-0, nobody in baseball has ever come back from that, let’s make it you buy me lunch and a coffee versus my hundo”.

The entire office (I worked in MA) lined up after Game 7 to watch me pay her - which I had coming because I had called every single person in our office after the Aaron Boom dinger in the 2003 ALCS and left them voicemails of Sinatra singing New York, New York.

Ahhhhh baseball, I miss those rivalries. So much friggin’ fun. So much drama. Baseball is never better than when 2 eternal rivals meet in the playoffs. As a fan of baseball, and putting aside my allegiance to the Yankees, it was kinda fun watching people celebrate when the Sox broke the Curse in 2004. I’ll say this for Boston sports fans - they’re passionate about their teams.
 
In the 70s I played little league with a big kid who just loved playing ball. Eventually he got drafted by the Blue Jays and made AA. Then the Florida Marlins selected him #1 in the expansion draft - Nigel Wilson. He had a few cups of coffee in the bigs but did pretty well in Japan.

Jun 29, 1990 I was there for Dave Stewart's no-hitter. A couple years later he signs with the Jays and wins a World Series in 1993.

Jays World Series games in 1992, 1993. Those entire seasons were great with every game sold out and over 4 million fans every year. I was too young in 1985 to get tickets myself but I have been to at least one game of every Jays playoff series since 1989.

2013 I went on a road trip with @SeekTheGrail to Oakland and San Fran to see a couple games. Watched the SF starter take a perfect game into the 9th inning. With 2 outs, he gives up a hit, oops. So close. Yusmei Petit, 515 games in the majors but only 59 starts and he almost has a perfect game on Sept. 6, 2013. Marco Scutaro and Aaron Hill, former Blue Jays played in that game and also Brandon Belt, who is now a Blue Jay.

One out away!

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Oct 14, 2015 Jays win the division for the first time since 1993. My wife are I are there for the crazy Jose Bautista bat flip game against the Rangers. Top half of the inning Russell Martin throws the ball back to the pitcher but accidently hits the batter's bat and the ball deflects out towards third. Ranger player on third dashes home but the umpire calls time and waves the play dead. Later they rule the run counts and Rangers take the lead and fans litter the field with beer cans. Bottom half of the inning, Bautista steps up and hits a go ahead 3 run bomb and Jays take the series over the Rangers 3-2.

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2016 Canada Day. My kid is just a house league player but he gets asked to play in a tournament with the travel team. We leave early in the day to travel to Orillia for the tournament game that evening. We start listening to the Jays game on the radio, we stop for lunch, watch the game a bit on TV. Get to Orillia, check in to the hotel, Jays game still on. We travel to the game, there is a light drizzle and the game begins. Jays game still on. Jays lose in 19 innings. Just one of those special days where I get to watch my kid play ball with the longest game in Jays history as the back drop.

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Sep 20, 2016 My wife and I travel to Seattle with thousands of other crazy Jays fans with the Jays in a playoff push. On the seating chart I spot a tiny section just inside the left foul pole. I decide that if Bautista or Encarnacion are going to pop one, it is going into that section. Sure enough Encarnacion bombs one, right into the row in front of us and we get on the replays on TV.

Lining up to get into the game, essentially a home game for Toronto in Seattle.

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They have a cheap beer special pre-game, so we fill every cup holder in our row with beer before the special ends.

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Home run ball. That smile should tell you everything you need to know about how great a game baseball is.

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I was never a huge baseball fan but I have been able to take in some great times at ballparks over the years. One was attending October 26, 2005, World Series Game at Minute Maid Park for Game five of the World Series. It turned out to be a very long night. The game lasted 5 hours and 21 minutes and we had to catch a flight early the next morning! That was a good time although my most memorable was in 2004.

My most memorable was being hosted by a major and well-known drink company to attend the All-Star week in Houston back in 2004. I was not going to go but they kept asking and then threw me something in addition to attending the Major League Fantasy Camp that I could not pass up. I was able to work out and play ball with some great old-time baseball players. I even hit a double off of Lee Smith by complete luck, but the most memorable part of the weekend was watching my then 13-year-old son participate in two huge events. First, he was the ball boy and sat on the bench next to Sarah Silverman for the American team at the 2004 Taco Bell Legends and Celebrity Softball Game. That was pretty cool to watch but the next event he participated in was so fun to watch. He was actually one of the two kids that handed a towel and Gatorade to the hitters during the 2004 Home Run Derby. I can remember seeing him and how excited he was to see himself on an ESPN clip when we got back to the hotel room that night. (Wish I had pics!)

Some of my fondest memories were not what I have done, but seeing my kids enjoy some pretty cool stuff. We have had some great experiences over the years that not many people get to do. I was fortunate enough to have shared these moments with family.
 
It was a really weird series in that there was a clear path to the Yanks losing if you followed them all year. Game 4 became sort of a must-win game and the blowout the night before usually means the other teams wins the next night.
This is classic Berg. You’re up 3-0 to a team that hasn’t won a World Series in 86 years, and has lost multiple ALCs in the most heart breaking manner possible, and despite the fact that no team has ever come back from that big of a deficit, you saw a clear path for the Yankees to lose?
 
My favorite memory is when I bet some random internet stranger that another random internet stranger could chuck a baseball a certain distance (i can't remember how far exactly).

spoiler alert: i don't think he did
 
My favorite memory was going to Game 3 of the 1999 ALCS, Pedro vs. Roger. Clemens got pulled after 2 innings and Martinez was masterful, striking out 12. We were sitting right in front of the guys hanging the Ks, so our section was crazy. It was an absolute blast.

I also got to see Derek Lowe's no-hitter, I forget the year. But I remember being annoyed beforehand that my tickets were for yet another Derek Lowe start.
I have all of my junk wax era cards separated into players. So many Clemens cards. Nothing that’s worth anything but crazy how many there are from that era. I probably have just as many Boggs, maybe more.
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I'm a Bay Area(ish) Yankees fan - go figure. I was at the 2001 ALDS A's v. Yankeees Jeter "flip" game with my dad. I remember the A's were up 2-0 in the series and the Yankees were facing a sweep. Tons of people carrying brooms around and heckling me for wearing my Jeter jersey in Oakland. I was about 12 years old at the time. You just knew after this play that the Yankees were gonna win. I'll never forget this iconic Jeter moment.

 

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