The Lament of a Baseball-Hater

Up And Adams

There are two times in my life when I remember feeling incredibly lonely The first was in eighth grade when I went to a school dance and found myself looking over every one's heads from my 5'8" vantage point I wasn't "cute." and I didn't fit conveniently under anyone's arm. I was miserable. even though my father later assured me that things would eventually change.

The second time I felt unutterably alone was several weeks ago when I approached a group of friends, only to discover that they were earnestly discussing the finer points of the upcoming baseball season.

Feeling a bit like a Martian. I hovered around the edges, mute, having nothing to add. RBI's? ERA's? Pitching stats? It meant nothing to me. It was then that I finally realized something that has been welling up inside me since I was very little: I hate baseball. There--I've said it. Address all hate mail to the Crimson, please.

To admit abhorrence of baseball in a nation that ranks the sport as its number one pastime is something akin to sin. But the sport has never interested me, and, further. I am usually filled with disbelief when I hear hard-core baseball fanatics go at it

My mouth dropped, for example. When I heard one Harvard student rattle off Tom Seaver's vital statistics for the past 12 years How did he know all these obscure numbers. I wondered "I memorized them because he was born on my birthday." he answered


Tone Set Early

I've tried to figure out where the seeds of my antmostly were sown and I've decided that it was in RFK Stadium in Washington. D. C., where the Washington Senators used to play Filled with fatherly ambition, my father once took my older sister and me to a Senators game there, where he hoped to share some of his enthusiasm with us

I remember being extremely uninterested I pointed out to my father in my very knowledgeable seven-year-old way that the game was senseless because every time the ball was hit, someone caught it. I also didn't care for the verbal abuse of the players I heard raining down around my ears.

One poor Senator was very short and had no neck as far as anyone could see. The men behind me heckled him mercilessly, yelling. "You're just like a sweater--all arms and no neck'" Although I felt that the men were being very mean, it wasn't until I sat with Kirkland House behind the Clarkson ice hoe-key goalie that I found out what true abuse was all about

Bored beyond belief at this game, my sister and I found another way to amuse ourselves Putting our unopened mustard packets on the ground, we would jump out of our seats and land squarely on them, enjoying the loud pop we heard. Our fun was spoiled, however, when the woman sitting in front of us turned around and informed us a that the mustard had gotten all over her new dress and that she would be sending us the dry cleaning bill

Liz and I were never taken to another baseball game, and by the time my younger brother had grown old enough to read the Washington Post sports section, the Senators had become the Texas Rangers

Life as a baseball hater has not been easy Parties and, get-togethers often resolve around going to games and guzzling beer in the bleachers, and talk about baseball is often inescapable. As I sought to fall asleep the other night, for instance. I heard the guys through the fire door engaging in a spirited question-and-answer session.

Assuming it was just another pre-MCAT discussion. I prepared to pile more pillows over my head. Just as I was about to do so, though. I heard. "Okay--I've got one for you. Name the starting line-up of the Mets in 1947."

I'm not asking anyone to understand my baseball convictions, just to exercise a little bit of restraint and tolerance around me.

Don't ask me to name the relief pitcher in last year's World Series, don't ask me excitedly what I think about the latest Red Sox trade, and above all, please don't ask me to ride the "T" to Fenway Park to pay money to sit on hard bleachers and watch a baseball game. After all, the Red Sox are just going to hit the ball and the other team is going to catch it.

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