Baseball and the Royal Wedding

There is no real connection.  I mean, I suppose I may be able to dig out some cricket player or soccer celebrities that may have attended the hitching and link them to MLB in some variation of 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon, but that’s not what I’m here to do.

Last night while enjoying some Makers Mark and Michael Scott’s farewell I made mention of the royal wedding on Facebook and what I think about it.

You ladies out there realize that tomorrow’s wedding has about as much importance as a union between a tree sloth and a pineapple, right?

This brought on a mixed reaction.  Most notably from a friend of mine from college who seemed to be very much into the coverage, which is great.  I really have no interest myself, but her response to my jab was that it had just as much importance as watching men throw a leather ball around a field, concluding that men get excited about silly things.  Right you are.

I have no issue with ladies (and men) who have an interest in the royal wedding or any other celebrity-like function.  Great for them, and even I indulge in celebrity gossip when I’ve got the shades drawn and I’m certain nobody is around.  Frankly, do what you like to do, but in response to comparing sports (I think she was referring to football, but I’m using baseball here) to the royal wedding I think I need to make a few points that distinguish the “silliness” that one might think surrounds both.

Baseball (and sports in general) isn’t just a gossip column that we pick up at the checkout line in order critique their uniforms and hair.  We do this with our athletes, of course, but it’s much more than that.  In many ways these teams are representing us, the fans.  We’ve grown up wearing our scarlet and gray, Dodger blue, and Celtic pride on our sleeves.  When our team wins, we win.

I grew up watching the Reds with my friends and it’s something that even today we use as an excuse to get together.  We watch, dissect, criticize, and talk ball every day; every time we get together.  It’s ingrained into us and has become part of who we are.  Maybe there are a handful of royal wedding fans out there who are the same way, and if so, I hope they got as much satisfaction out of that wedding as I did watching Jay Bruce hit the playoff clinching home run last fall.

When I was little, I remember tearing open packs of baseball cards looking for Reds players.  My dad took me to the local card shop one year so I could buy a Chris Sabo rookie card.  I was nine, and this was such a big day that even now, 22 years later, I remember how unbelievably excited I was on the ride home when I opened a pack andfound that I was now in possession of TWO 1989 Topps Rookie All Star Chris Sabo cards.

I have a Tim Birtsas signed baseball card that I got at a game as a child.  I didn’t know, nor do I currently know, who the hell Tim Birtsas is, but he was a Cincinnati Red and I had his autograph.  In 1990 my dad surprised me with tickets to the National League Championship Series clinching game.  These are the memories of my childhood.  You can’t tell the story of my life without including the Reds and MLB.

The point of this rambling is this, I get that every girl dreams of becoming a princess and that having a big glamorous wedding gets you fired up, but I don’t see the similarities between this and baseball.  Like I said earlier, if it’s something that you really like, good for you and you can get as excited as you want about it.  I might make fun of you, but I get it.  It would just make a lot more sense if their marriage and royal-ness represented you as a citizen; you know, like how the Reds represent me.

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