“My first major league baseball game was in April of 1987, in St. Louis, Missouri. I was eight years old. My favorite team calls St. Louis home and on that Saturday night we, the Cardinals, were playing the New York Mets. This was serious business. True, our rival was, and is, the Chicago Cubs, but that wasn’t really the case in 1987. The Cubs were “lovable losers,” they were cute. The Mets were not cute. They were brash, they were reckless, and they had a slugger named ‘Howard Johnson’ which I thought was weird. And more importantly, they were winners.

“It’s been nearly two months since the Royals lost the World Series by ninety feet. Baseball went into hibernation when Fox signed off that night, not to be heard from again until April, right? Of course not, although we do get a welcome respite from Joe ‘Hack’ Buck and Harold ‘Hack’ Reynolds. Baseball is a 365-day-a-year sport (366 in leap years). There are plenty of ways to get your baseball fix in the winter.”

“The Saturday after Thanksgiving I was asked to retrieve the Christmas decorations from storage. To do this I had to maneuver several boxes out of the way, one of which I knew contained my old baseball cards. I also knew if I opened that box, I would fall into a bottomless chasm of Diamond Kings, commons, and ‘Jesse Barfield? I had forgotten about Jesse Barfield!’ moments. Naturally, I dove in.”

“Joe Buck: Here’s the 0-1. That’s in the air to left center. That ball iiiiis…down. And it gets passed to the wall! Gordon is gonna dig for third. A mistake in the outfield…and Gordon is being waved home! There’s gonna be a play at the plate…the relay from Crawford…Posey takes it on a hop. Gordon topples over Posey aaaand…”

“The trip was advertised as 6 games in 6 days; Los Angeles -> San Diego -> Anaheim -> Stockton -> Oakland -> San Francisco. At the time it was just a cool idea that none of us took too seriously, but it was something I thought about until 3 months later when all of the stars aligned and I pulled the trigger on my birthday.”