With one of my sons and a friend, I went to see the Cleveland Indians play the Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco yesterday. The nationally televised game was a test of loyalty for me: Would I root for the team of my youth or the team of my recent years.
Watching the Indians take batting practice, I reminisced about all the times I watched them warm up at the old Municipal Stadium. Our seats at AT&T Park were directly behind home plate in the third deck, reminding me of all the games in which my friends and I sat in the stadium’s upper deck from almost exactly the same vantage point.
The teams were introduced, the game began — and then a strange thing happened.
The Indians touched up Giants starter Madison Bumgarner for a couple of early hits, and a cluster of Indians fans a few rows back cheered each time.
That annoyed me.
After nearly 55 of years of watching baseball, I finally, fully crossed over the line. I bleed orange and black. I prefer the Senior Circuit. I loathe the designated hitter.
I still cling to my lifelong hope that the Indians will win a World Series, imagining that I’ll return home for the celebration at Public Square with millions of Indians fans weeping for joy.
I just pray the Indians do that at the expense of any team but the Giants.
NOTE: I’ve now seen the Indians at a pretty good list of stadiums: Municipal Stadium and Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, The Kingdome, Oakland Coliseum and AT&T Park.