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07/02/2019

The Beautiful Game

A Little Introduction


Baseball. From the earliest time I could remember it has been my favorite thing in this world. Hell, “ball” was my first word. It has been a driving force in my life, from T-Ball to playing in college, it's always been there. My family and my best friends are all baseball fans, even if we don't root for the same teams, we all love the game. It’s been a bonding point throughout my entire life.


It’s a family pastime for me. My father was a tremendous baseball player. My mother was an excellent softball player. They both love the game. One of my earliest memories was playing wiffle ball with my parents and my siblings. My mother and father have imbued that same love in me. They took me and my sisters to as many games as they could afford. I looked forward to bus rides up to Jacobs Field (now Progressive Field, which still bothers me) to watch the Indians. Mid 90’s baseball in Cleveland was amazing and disappointing. The ‘95 World Series loss the Braves was sad, but expected with the masters of Glavin, Maddux and Smoltz. The ‘97 Series was much harder to swallow. Jose Mesa...enough said.


While I love the Indians and they always hold a place in my heart, I've been a lifelong Cardinals fan. They were my childhood team. My little league team. As time went on they became my passion. My basement is a shrine to the Cardinals. While I could go on and on about my love for the Birds On The Bat, this is about the game itself. Baseball brings people together, and at times drives them apart even if it's only for a brief series. During the 2011 World Series my roommate, and best friend, was a Rangers fan, so you can imagine the tension in our house during that time. We are still great friends, even after all the swearing and the threats thrown at each other that October.


Game 6 of the 2011 World Series was a life changing night for me. I went on a first date with a beautiful young woman, who would eventually become my wife. We went to dinner, she spilled her drink on me, then fell asleep on my shoulder while at the movie theater watching Moneyball. What an awesome first date that was, all the while, I'm secretly dying to get back to my house to catch the end of the game. The movie ended, I woke up my date, and raced home to find it was the 8th inning. My date foolishly chose to stick around to watch the end of the game with me. To this day, I don't know why she found my screaming, jumping and acting like a child attractive and chose to keep me around. She says she found my passion hilarious. She wasn't a baseball fan, but it didn't take her long to become one and every game we go to she keeps a scorebook and screams at the top of her lungs right beside me. We have a beautiful 4 year old little girl, that as I type, is holding a toy bat and asking me to play catch. She likes to take “daddy hacks.” I like to think I'm training her well.


Family and Baseball. That is my household. Those two things are woven together so tightly they are one and the same. There is something about this beautiful game that I cannot get enough of. I could watch baseball all day. I don't care who is playing, pros or college, I just sit back and soak it up. Baseball season is summer. It's the year renewed after a long cold winter that we are all dying to forget. It's pageantry and history. The sights and smells, highs and lows, and the beauty of the behind the scenes action that so many don't even know to look for. It's my first love. It's what has found me my wife, my best friends and what has bonded my family from the start. There is nothing else like it. Pull up a stadium seat, grab a cold beer and a hotdog..let's talk baseball.


-Sanzone

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