When the Dodgers won the World Series I was croutched in the middle of the sailboat. In a yogic squat. Really high. Doing my evening thing with the stretching but also listening to the Dodgers broadcast from the distant LA radio station. Charlie Steiner and Rick Monday come through pretty scratchy at times, but I wouldn’t listen to anyone else.
That’s where it all began. Charlie and Rick on the way up the 101. On the way to Morro Bay. Escape.
“MAX MUNCY with a DEEP home run the other way!”
Three years ago. Driving through LA I was like “I’m gonna listen to the whole game.” Back then I didn’t know what Max Muncy looked like. My image of him was a 5’10 stocky black player, not unlike young Tony. Turns out he looks more like Paul Bunyan.
Maybe that was the day I let go of my childhood Padres team and embraced the Dodgers. First drive to Morro Bay? Sure, we’ll make that the day.
I’ve always had an affinity for the Sox, but they were second fiddle to the San Diego Padres growing up. Root for them in the regular season, root for the Sox in the playoffs, cuz the Padres ain’t making the playoffs.
In Boston, the Sox became my favorite baseball team, but I wasn’t rabid. I was working at the ravioli place and playing bass. The youngsters weren’t that into baseball. The 2013 Sox team won me over. It was a team of redemption. The year prior, supposedly they were drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse during games. They cut the worst offenders before the start of the 2013 year. Then the marathon bombing happened. Papi told the fans that this was our fucking city and the rest is history. I approved of that team.
I returned to my birthplace a year later to the lackluster Padres. I felt obligated to root for them. Why on Earth was Tony Gwynn Jr. not a lifetime Padre? Did they even give him a chance? I know he doesn’t hit like his old man but we need a Gwynn on the field in this broken-hearted town. Why did the fans boo the San Diego Gay Men’s choir when they sang the national anthem? Was that for real?
Meanwhile, the Dodgers. Who are these guys? They’re all good. Every one of them.
I was deep in a yogic squat, eyes closed in the middle of the tiny boat. I was in the entry way to the bed area. Two little beds behind me, one on either side of the hardwood I was crouched on. Charlie Steiner told me to remember where I was. As if he needed to tell me.
The volume was low. The radio five feet up, to the left, felt distant. What was I thinking about? I was half-focusing. I was nervous. My team. And this was MY TEAM. Clayton, Joc, Mookie, Walker- this was my kinda team. My team was about to win the World Series.
I grew up here in San Diego a Padre fan. I was born in the fall of 81, and Tony Gwynn was pretty much playing full-time from that point until I was a missionary for my church in Colorado.
For those of you who don’t know, Tony is one of the best baseball players ever. People like to call him “one of the greatest hitters of all time” or they say he is a great “pure” hitter. I like to draw attention to Tony’s all-around athleticism. His outfield defense was superb and he was a star point guard at San Diego State. (Basketball)
CALLED STRIKE THREE on the outside corner! Charlie bursted. And I, in my squat, eyes closed- I let out a giggle. Then I cried. You probably think I cry about baseball all the time but no, not really. I cried when Tony died of course and I cried when the Dodgers won the World Series.