Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Watching the Cardinals with Dad or Not


I posted briefly about opening day on Monday. I didn't really do a big baseball post, and that feels wrong. So today I want to visit another area of my baseball conscious. Will Braden be a Cardinals fan like his Dad or not? I am almost certain that he will but let's examine the topic anyway.

For true fanatics sports loyalties are passed along like any other genes. You acquire your team from your Dad or Mom just like you acquire their last name. It comes with the territory. It doesn't work for casual fans. In those cases the child is left to find a team or even a different sport to follow. I became a Cardinal fan because my Dad was a Cardinal fan. My grandparents are also Cardinal fans. You may recall that I live in Arkansas. Why is a guy from Arkansas such a big Cardinal fan? It is the MLB team of choice for a majority of Arkansans. We don't have a team of our own, and St. Louis is one of the closest options. The Rangers are closer for some but they have no history which brings me to my next point.

Before the Dodgers and Giants moved to California the Cardinals were further west than any other team. Teamed up with the powerful KMOX radio station the Cardinals were broadcast all over the midwest and beyond. Our grandparents generation growing up anywhere west of the Mississippi had a great opportunity to become Cardinals fans. Many of them did. Several western states have their own teams now, but throughout the midwest the Cardinals are still king. They are regularly in the top 5 in attendance in a relatively small market like St. Louis. They can accomplish that because people come from Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and elsewhere to watch the Redbirds. I am proud to be a part of that large following.

Back to the subject of Braden joining our throng. He is off to a good start in Cardinals fandom. My brother gave him an Ozzie Smith autographed baseball that he had signed at a local Wal-Mart. Ozzie was my favorite player growing up. I remember my Dad telling me about "The Wizard" when we first watched games together. I played short stop and wanted to be just like Ozzie. Now Braden has this Hall of Famer's autograph. It will be a great time when I get to explain to him who signed his ball.

I know there is no guarantee that Braden will like the Cardinals. There's not even a guarantee that he will like sports in general. My Grandpa watches Cardinals baseball every day. He never misses a game and his son hates sports. I mean he hates them with a passion. So I don't have to look far for an example of what could happen. Still I am certain that Braden and I will share many summer nights watching the Cardinals play on TV. I plan on taking him to games in St. Louis as soon as possible. Doing those things should create memories that will last a lifetime. That is the truly great thing about sharing this interest. The time spent with Braden will be priceless.

8 comments:

Daddy Files said...

I don't feel like a bad father when I say that I will force my son to be a Red Sox fan. Although something tells me it'll never come to that, because there isn't a man in my family who isn't a sports fan. Honestly, he just has to love sports. I don't know what I'll do if we can't watch the Sox and Patriots together. Trips to Fenway, buying him his first Fenway Frank, explaining the Green Monster...these are things that MUST happen.

I'm jealous you got to watch opening day with your little guy. Mine won't be back from the Carolinas until tomorrow!

PJ Mullen said...

I hope that happens for you, bonding over sports is a great way for fathers and sons or daughters to spend quality time together. I'm not a baseball guy, personally, but I already have my son's Patriots jersey ready for opening day kickoff. I'll root for the Sox and Celtics, but I'm not as passionate about those sports like I am with football. I did root for the Cards when the won the series a year or two back, mostly because I like LaRussa. The whole Parcells/Belichick connection is probably part of it. Anyway, I hope you and your son get to share lots of memories rooting for your team.

Bee said...

Okay, I’m obviously not a dude. ;o)
But! I think when they’re kids they’ll follow you along and enjoy the things you do because they love you and want to be like dad. In my humble girlie opinion, a lot of his love for the sport will probably start because of the bonding and will grow from there.

I know that’s why I love shopping.

Mike said...

Great post. I've got three (count em) teenage daughters who grew up around a dad who is a baseball fan. An Angel fan to be exact. My enthusiasm has become their enthusiasm. We watch the games together, check out the box scores in the paper. These are truly "girly' girls who love to shop and do girl stuff. But, they gotten their love of the game from their father and appreciate it.

Your son will probably do the same. Or just to piss you off he'll root for the Braves....

Have fun.

Jen said...

you are so right. that is what is it all about, memories that will last a life time.

WeaselMomma said...

I'm sure the 2 of you will bond over many a game.

Craig said...

My kids just like hearing the Cardinals game on in the background. My oldest says it's relaxing...

surprised mom said...

Grandpa was in the influence when it came to baseball. I'm usually sports indifferent, but the Cubs will always have a place in my heart because of Grandpa. I'm sure you and your son will be arguing over baseball games in the years to come.