Every once in a while I will get recognized and someone will say “you are the guy on the phone in Curse of the Bambino, right?”
This is referencing the wonderful HBO Documentary I was in and the story I told about Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, dialing the phone to rub the Red Sox win in the face of my uncle who is a big Mets fan.
My response is always “Yes, I told that story.”
But if you saw the special and remember the story, I was NOT the guy dialing the phone. That would be my brother Ted who dialed after each pitch every number except the last one.
So in truth my brother is “the guy on the phone” in The Curse of the Bambino.
And today is his birthday.
Happy birthday buddy. I promise to call today… and every number including the last one.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, here is my segments from the movie.
I have a theory about sports fandom.
For the first 6 to 8 years of a sports fans’ life, they sort of watch sports without understanding it. They may have a “favorite team” because their parents watch a team or kids in their class wear a hat or jacket, but they don’t really follow the team.
Then somewhere between 8 and 10 years old, the fans start to truly follow a team. The ins and outs of the team… which players are good and which aren’t. And this is around the time that a young sports fan develops their first favorite player. And whichever players they root for then will have a giant impact on their future perspective.
No matter what other players excel over the years, they won’t compare to the players of their youth.
Think about it in your own life. When do you remember following a team and each player? When did you start really understanding a sports season and which are the first players you really rooted for?
I bet those memories were started roughly between your 8th and 10th birthdays.
For me it was my 7th birthday, but I was a freak.
So my kids turn 6 years old today. One son has declared himself a Giants fan. But when the Giants won the World Series, he was more interested in watching Toy Story.
He may regret not watching them win the World Series.
My other son claims to be a Dodger fan. But he has yet to sit and watch a Dodger game yet.
In a couple of years, their long term memories will be starting to form. And as a baseball nut, I can’t wait to someday sit down with my buddies and watch ball games the way I did with my mom and dad.
But don’t grow up TOO fast. I can’t believe it has already been 6 years since I mentioned you two at the end of Reverse the Curse of The Bambino.
Happy birthday, buddies.
Some big names in baseball have called May 14th their birthday.
Hall of Famer Ed Walsh was born May 14, 1881.
Another Hall of Famer, Earle Combs (the Kentucky Colonel) was born on May 14, 1899.
Tony Perez, yet another Hall of Famer was born on May 14, 1942 in Cuba.
Dick Howser, the only man to ever manage the Royals to a World Series title, was born on May 14, 1936.
Dennis Martinez, El Presidente, was born on May 14, 1955.
Pat Borders, MVP of the 1992 World Series, was born on May 14, 1963.
Phillies Ace Roy Halladay, who is gunning for Cy Young #2 this year, was born on May 14, 1977.
And possibly the worst first baseman in the history of The Menlo School was born on May 14, 1972 in Willimantic Connecticut.
I’m glad to share a birthday with such good company.