My Baseball Upbringing
As I have entered my final semester at Michigan and begun looking for jobs, I have taken a lot of time to evaluate my real interests and what they mean to me. I’ve considered many different career paths: high school history teacher, neurologist, writer, etc. But everything has always come back to baseball. While I am still trying to figure out exactly what I want to do within the sport, I have had the opportunity to think about my introduction to the sport and how a simple game has grown into an obsession.
I remember first getting into the game during the 1995 season, watching the Braves and Indians in the World Series. I was five years old at the time, and had completed my first year of tee-ball. I paid more attention to the Cardinals the next season, and started to get a better understanding of the game from watching and playing. The Cardinals almost made it to the World Series that year, but blew a 3-1 series lead against the Braves.
Around this time, my brother and I got our first video game system: the classic Nintendo 64. Aside from the normal games that every kid had, like Super Mario 64 and MarioKart, I got Major League Baseball featuring Ken Griffey Jr. Best game ever. I got to know the players on the Cardinals, on other teams, and got my first introduction into baseball statistics. I spent hours on the N64 playing that game, and as recently as last school year, I still play it.
While I continued to play that amazing video game, the Cardinals weren’t too good. However, Mark McGwire brought St. Louis into focus with his record 70 home runs. I can still tell anyone exactly where I was when McGwire broke the record, and I was at the game when he hit 69 and 70 (69 landed a section away).
I was hooked. I enjoyed learning strategy, reading baseball history, analyzing statistics, etc. I even began a sports card list on Excel that has about 1600 entries, most of them baseball cards. To this day I am still fascinated by baseball; my roommates can attest that my new favorite channel has become the MLB Network, especially when old World Series highlights are on. I just think it’s so cool to relive the past and go beyond the winner of the Series or the key game/event in the series.
So as I look for jobs (either temporary or a full career), I want to include my passion for baseball. Granted, I probably can’t be a player, but anything where I can watch the game, teach it, or just be a part of the process would be amazing. I believe that the happiest people in life enjoy their work (among other things, but this helps), and a job in baseball would make me happiest.