October 09, 2007
Sleepless Nights
This time of year always has me on edge. It isn't that I don't like fall - I love fall, it happens to be my favorite season. I'm not particularly bothered by the change in weather (though, let's face it, it's hard to claim there's been a change in weather when we're having 90 degree days in October, same as the previous few months). So, why can't I sleep at night?
Well, it's because I love baseball. Particularly the excitement of the postseason. And when the Indians are playing in the postseason, I am that much more wound up.
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Some of my most recent memories of my Dad (he died in 1994, so "recent" is a relative term) are from my first semester in college. I'd come home from work between 10 and 11 and he'd be sitting in the living room, with some work in his lap that he'd brought home. I'd join him in the living room, sitting on the floor so I wouldn't get the furniture smelling like that fast food place that rhymes with Darby's. And we'd watch baseball. We'd quietly yell at the television (there was a sleeping mom and baby upstairs), we'd jump up and down and pump our fists in the air. And the teams who were playing weren't even our beloved Indians. Sure, I'd watched lots of games with my Dad before then - my whole life, I loved watching games because he loved it. But something was special that year, just the two of us up late into the night, silently participating in this American tradition.
In the spring of '94, my Dad busted my chops because I went to see a game at The Jake - before even he did. That summer went by quickly and when he died in early August, I regretted that I hadn't gone with him to a game at the Tribe's new ball field, instead of with a group of my college friends. That fall, I felt the baseball strike was apropos, since I couldn't watch with my Dad, I felt that all of baseball was mourning the loss of such a fan.
The following year, I threw myself back into the postseason. It helped that the Indians went all the way to the World Series. 1995's postseason, my lack of sleep was more due to the amount of *ahem* beverages I was consuming more than my inability to settle down after the games. Being in a bar crowded with a thousand other cheering fans, though, does get your adrenaline going. And with every run scored by the opposing team, it felt like their foam tomahawks were slicing right into our hearts.
Every year since, I've been twitterpated by October baseball. In '96 I cheered for the Yankees, only because they were at least American League. In '97 it was the Indians again in the Series, but they just couldn't pull it out. I even had all my buddies who were Sox fans cheering with me that year. But then it got really old, watching those boys in pinstripes year after year. Yet, I watched. Some years, like when I was a brand new mom, I didn't have the energy to stay up for the games. Other years, I stayed up late, on the phone with my husband or father-in-law watching the games "together".
This year, though, for the first time in nearly ten years, I'll be on the edge of my seat deep into October... jumping up and shouting at the tv, long after the girls are in bed... running out onto the porch to whoop and holler when a game ends exactly as it should - with the Tribe on top. And I pray my Dad is watching (and yelling at the television) with me.
The next 10 days or so will be interesting as some of my longest friends are pitted against me due to loyalties that only matter in the postseason. And to them I say,
"I love ya, but you're goin' down!"
Posts written by humble servant
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