The word fan is drawn from the root word “fanatic” and when your team is playing for the World Championship it’s easy to see the correlation between the two words.
I have yet to miss a game in the post season on the TV. Something I avoided most of the regular season. During the regular season I enjoyed listening to the Giants games on radio. Which I think is the best way to enjoy a baseball game. I think it’s the leisurely nature of the game of baseball that lends itself to the spoken word. Football, basketball and hockey all feature frantic action, something is happening somewhere on the field/court/rink that may or may not influence the outcome of any given play. TV can capture the many aspects of those games and feature the development of the play in it’s many facets via replay. Baseball action is one on one, pitcher vs batter, defensive player vs base runner, and thus is perfect for radio. Perhaps it’s the fact so many of us grew up listening to games rather than watching them. As a youngster there was only 1 televised game featured per week. Saturday afternoons were spent with Joe Garagiola or Curt Gowdy and a black and white screen filled with bad reception. The rest of the time it was on the radio. I grew up a Tigers fan. My Dad was a White Sox fan. I was always a contrary kid when it came to sports) My Dad liked the Bears, I liked the Packers. (Which I also grew out of, Go Broncos!) He liked I.U. football, I had to have a Norte Dame t-shirt. (Now college football is of little interest to me, it all seems like minor league football.)
I caught Tigers fever from my Grandfather. Ernie Harwell described the plays of Al Kaline, Bill Freehan, Norm Cash, Gates Brown, Willie Horton, Denny McClain, Mickey Stanley and the rest of my boyhood heroes. After I moved away from Indiana my allegiance to the Tigers faded, and my National League favorite team (the Cubs) rose. I always liked the Cubbies as a kid. My last name made that practically a requirement. When I moved to Colorado it was the dawn of the cable TV era and WGN showed all the Cubs games. Being able to watch all their games made them grow closer to my heart. It was only after I moved to California that I discovered the joy of the Giants. Okay there was some pain involved – see the 1988 Giants – Cubs NLCS. That hurt! After that My appreciation for the Black and Orange took on a life of it’s own. If that ’88 postseason where to occur again I’d probably root root root for the Giants (with all apologies to Harry Carry).
As a Giants fans that I am shocked that the spirit of my Gramps hasn’t come to haunt me. But the series isn’t over yet, so there’s still time for a visit from Gramps . . . . .