I am a huge baseball fan. It started with Don Larsen’s perfect game in the World Series of 1956. Could someone actually do something that was perfect? Then it wasn’t impossible for me to be perfect in my life.
At the time, I was living in a Philadelphia suburb, so of course I became a Phillies fan. Being a Phillies fan in the mid-’50s was good practice for later becoming a Mets fan. But first I had to go through a Yankees phase: when my husband and I were first in New York and lived on the Upper West Side, I thought we must live closer to Yankee Stadium than to the Mets’ Shea Stadium. Then my daughter’s high school offered tickets to a Mets game late in the 1986 season, which turned out to be their World Series year. For the first time, I read the sports pages in the off-season so the new players and the gone players were not a huge surprise come April.
A few years later I joined a group of Mets fans who had turned their fandom into a bit of money. They were the Mets scorers for Project Scoresheet, started by the baseball historian and statistician Bill James, who had invented a new way to score games that could be computer coded. The scorers only had to watch games, score using the Project Scoresheet system, then fax our completed scoresheets to the computer coders—and get paid $10 per game. Each year, in March, this Mets group of scorers met at a brewpub in New York or southern Connecticut (many of the men, and they were all men, lived in Connecticut), signed up for the games we’d score, talk baseball and play baseball trivia.
Project Scoresheet failed as a business, replaced by the Elias Sports Bureau, but the Mets group has continued on. Last year our in-person meeting was canceled, but five of us had a watch-party for the Mets’ opening day. That may have been my first zoom ever.
This year, we zoomed for our preseason gathering. A couple of the men were on grandfather duty, so baby sounds were background. We talked about the Mets’ prospects with their new, super-rich owner; we remembered all the superstars of the past who came to the Mets and didn’t perform; we wondered what had happened to former members of our group; we watched the Mets rather handily beat the Astros. Perhaps we will all go to a game this year—perhaps. It’s an hour subway ride from my home. I hope the positivity rate will have declined by later this summer.
I’m participating in the 14th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 27 of the 31-day challenge. It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about. Join in!