Why I Don’t Watch Baseball Anymore

I used to love it. I hope that one day, I can love it again.

Photo by Chris Chow on Unsplash

I watch basketball, football, and heck, even sometimes I’ll watch soccer with my friends.

There is just one sport I refuse to watch to this day: baseball. It’s not that I think it’s boring or that I’m philosophically opposed to the sport at all. When I was a kid, I was pretty obsessed with baseball. It was my main sport besides I started running and I started playing little league with my friends.

I wasn’t very good at baseball, but I started to religiously follow the Mets. In most other sports, I was a Philadelphia sports fan. As a kid, I love Allen Iverson and even worshipped him, so I became a devout 76ers and Eagles fan.

But in baseball, I loved the Mets. I went to see the Mets play once my dad got tickets to Shea Stadium at a discount. I remember that my favorite players were Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and David Wright. We had famous and legendary pitchers in Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine, and the season had many milestones, including Martinez’s 3,000th strikeout and Glavine’s 300th win.

We also had an ace of a closing pitcher in Billy Wagner, who to this day, has thrown the fastest pitch I’ve ever known.

Billy Wagner pitching for the Mets — Wikipedia Commons

We looked great on paper, and we looked to be doing great going into the playoffs. However, close to the end of the season, the team started to fall apart. While we were winning the division with a two and a half-game lead in the division over the Philadelphia Phillies but lost 12 of our last 17 games, and I remember the final game very distinctly.

To win the division, we had to win our final game over the Florida Marlins. I didn’t have very good Internet at the time, but could only refresh the front page of MSN (that’s right, I didn’t even use Google News at the time) to see what was going on with the Mets.

I refreshed every couple of seconds, only to be utterly devastated when I saw some headlines — a 2007 Reuters headline from Larry Fine read “Mets’ collapse ends on 8–1 loss to Marlins”,

Our star pitcher, Tom Glavine, gave up seven runs in the first inning. It was one of the worst innings in his career, that involved giving up five hits, walking two, and hitting pitcher Dontrelle Willis that allowed the team to score.

Although the Mets tried to come back, they couldn’t.

I just couldn’t do it anymore. I just stopped watching baseball. My 10-year-old self decided to devote myself to other sports. The Mets always had really high hopes from what I could remember, but they continued to break my heart.

It would be years until I would watch another baseball game. My own baseball career as a child would begin to flounder two years later.

I was put in a situation in crunch time in a game. It was the bottom of the 9th inning, with the bases loaded, two outs, and we were down two runs. My teammates had gone on a near miraculous run where we scored three runs with two outs left. It was up to me to keep the momentum going.

The first pitch I swung at, and it hit my finger. I couldn’t swing as usual, and I would miss the next two swings, striking out. I remember the shame and disappointment I felt. Whether it was real or perceived, my teammates would pat me on the back and say that it was okay, but I felt like I let my teammates down.

I would never play baseball again. It was the middle of the season, but I didn’t have it in me to show up to any more games.

Of course, if God wanted me to continue with my baseball career, He would have kept me playing. But alas I didn’t. I would find my home as a runner, but I always think back to the two moments in life, as both a fan and a player, that are the reasons behind my complicated relationship with baseball.

I used to love it. I hope that one day, I can love it again.

Believer, Baltimore City special ed teacher, and 2:40 marathon runner. Diehard fan of “The Wire.” Email: ryanfan17@gmail.com. Support me: ko-fi.com/ryanfan

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