Day 92: Boys of Summer

Day 92: Boys of Summer

I remember 1992 very well. It was the year that baseball opened up to me. I’d been given this dual tape deck radio, this red plastic radio, for christmas, and my dad bought me this Oakland A’s poster that had McGwire, Canseco, Ricky, and I think Steinbach…or maybe it was Lansford. I think it was Carney Lansford, actually, now that I really think about it…but anyway. Most importantly, it had the A’s entire season schedule on it, on this poster, and I put it up next to me bed, and I knew when every game was going to be broadcast on the radio, and who they’d be playing. And, I listened to every single game of the season in 1992 except for the mid-week day games because I was in school. On that red dual tape deck radio.

I also started collecting baseball cards that year, too. My dad was totally into that, and so he’d buy me packs. I remember, there was this Upper Deck cardboard display thing at the grocery store we’d go to for bulk items (we were a family of four), it was right by the exit, and he’d always get me a pack when we checked out. Or, probably not every time, but I did get ALOT of Upper Deck packs from that cardboard display.

The A’s were a fantastic team that year. They won the west, back when there were only two divisions in each league, which means there were like 8 or 9 teams in the division. It was crazy. I remember it was neck and neck with the Twins that year down to the last few weeks of the season. I don’t think I even knew it then, but the Twins were defending world champions that year. Dennis Eckersley was my favorite, the A’s closer, and he set a record that year for consecutive saves. Mark McGwire was on pace for a while to maybe beat the single season home run record, but had to “settle” for, like, 54 at the end. I remember, too, it was the year that we traded Jose Canseco. I listened to that game, when he was pulled from the lineup, and we got Ruben Sierra in return.

It was also the year that I won a pair of tickets to an A’s game in July from this fundraiser, and man oh man did I want to go and see that game, but my mom had very early on made it clear that wasn’t going to be possible. I’m guessing now it was because of work, or finances, or something along those lines. And even then, I knew it was something like that, that she’d have taken me down if it were possible.

I remember listening to a game and the A’s scored ten runs in one inning. I was hooked. Bill King, Lon Simmons, and Ray Fosse. Those were the guys in the radio booth. “Holy Toledo” and everything. I just loved every minute of it all. And then, the next year, I didn’t listen as much, and then baseball kind of took a nosedive with the strike, and I forgot about baseball for a long time. The A’s were a shitty team for a long time. And then, Billy Beane and Jason Giambi brought magic back to Oakland baseball, and I started paying attention again. I got cable when I moved into my own place for college in 2001, and the A’s were so freaking good that year. They were STACKED. It got me hooked again, and this time it stuck.

I love baseball. It’s comfort entertainment for me, just like Star Trek. We just go so far back, it always makes me feel good.

Anyway, such a tangent entry tonight, I totally didn’t mean to make this whole thing about baseball 😛 I just remember the year 1992 very very clearly. I was 10. That’s crazy. It was pretty much just before we moved from Quail Valley…in fact…that may have been my last summer at Quail Valley. Hmmm. Or my second to last. Crazy to think about. Time is so different when you’re a kid. It’s hard to place that kind of stuff.

Symptoms of the sickness were a little better today, of course, day of the doctor visit always seems to work out that way. But, I went anyway, and right now, a mighty Z-pack is coursing through my blood stream and I’m hoping it will be a quick knock-out punch to this freaking endless cold/chest-thing of doom.

I also went to the annual WGA Foundation thing they do with all the Oscar-nominated screenwriters, and that we really freaking cool. It was an impressive row of people up there: Spike Jonez, David O. Russell, Terrence Winter, Tracy Letts…I mean, the dude won a freaking Pulitzer. It was really cool. I didn’t get the chance to meet any of them, Tracy Letts especially I wanted to meet, him being an actor as well as a writer (like me), and I probably would have got the chance if I’d been a little more pushy, but then he was whisked away by his people and out the side entrance. I regret not meeting him, but it was also kind of a clusterfuck. I mean, it was their oscar panel, of course it was packed.

Took some good notes. These panels never fail to make me want to just sit down and write, which is great, so I think I’ll keep going.

That’s all for tonight. The nyquil is really starting to kick in 😛