Prepping For Opening Day With A Brand New Fan

I’m spending Opening Day with a friend who has only become a sports fan in recent years. He started with football, which is a good way to start. Now he’s ready to move up to something more complex, nuanced. I offered to assist him in learning to become a baseball fan. I’ve turned people into baseball fans before.

We’ve been emailing back and forth, making plans for the big day. I can tell he’s a little nervous about the whole thing. He’s asked me to explain EVERYTHING to him and to talk to him as if he’s a third-grader. But that’s not the way to go. There’s just too much going on in a baseball game.

My team, the Boston Red Sox, are playing the New York Yankees. He’s a new fan so I don’t know who he’s going to root for, I didn’t ask. All I know is, he’s from New Jersey.

I sent him the final pre-game email last week…

Hey Mike,

The Bean Dip sounds way too good to consider anything else. Bring it! I’ll take care of the beer and something basebally – peanuts & cracker jacks maybe. And I’ll get something sweet for dessert. We’ll need sweet after spicy bean dip.

Now, this is going to be a relaxing afternoon. No need to worry, there will not be a quiz at the end. Remember, I know how to do this. I am NOT going to explain everything to you. There will be future lessons. The best thing about baseball is that NOBODY knows everything about the game. I still learn things all the time. That’s why I love it.

We’ll get into an advanced subject or two just to touch the different levels of what’s going on but the best thing to do is keep it simple. We’ll cover some of the basics – but not all. You just want to follow the flow of the game, get the feel of it, understand the feel of it. It’s fun, it’s relaxing (unless the bad guys kick our ass). There’s a lot going on but it moves slowly. So, you learn slowly.

But Rule Number 1: during the game, we don’t talk about anything but baseball. And it’s not going to be non-stop talk. Mostly, we’ll be watching.

A game runs about three hours usually. Opening Day ceremonies usually run over and the game starts a little late. So first pitch will hopefully be at 1:05 but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Why don’t you get here about 12:30. I hate pre-game except on Opening Day (always capitalized). My favorite part is when they introduce the players one by one. They don’t always show that on TV because it takes so long but I don’t want to miss whatever part of it they do show.

And finally, you can root for whichever team you want but do not wear a Yankees cap or I will grab the Bean Dip and close the door on you.




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