SDI Valentine’s Day – Baseball and Love

On this Valentine’s Day, I asked a few of the writers for short memories on how baseball and their relationships intertwined.

We made them short, just to be sure you have time to do the stuff that really matters with the ones that matter. And we’ll leave it at that.

Have a baseball Valentine’s story of your own? Leave us a Comment; we’d love to hear from you!

My wife and the Texas Rangers: the best deal I ever made

It was a few years into our marriage that my wife came to me and had the talk I had long feared. She just couldn’t watch anymore baseball. I did homework with baseball on in the background. I ate dinner with baseball on in the background. I went to sleep with baseball on in the background.

You get the idea, right? You also understand that, as a Rangers fan, this is how it should be. Well, as my wife laid out her case, I knew that I had to make a deal. I thought, “What romantic gesture does my wife really enjoy?”

While this may seem gross to some, my wife enjoys a good foot rub more than most things.

As I sat there trying not to panic, I decided I would bring that into the equation in a desperate attempt to save my Rangers viewing rights. It was in that moment that the most important deal of my life was struck: I can watch as much baseball as I want, and my wife will even participate, if, when she does, she gets a foot rub.

Since then, with my Rangers viewing intact, I have stronger hands and a wife who knows a hell of a lot more about baseball than she probably ever wished.

  • David Miller

The baseball life

With Valentine’s Day upon us, I wanted to discuss one relevant topic that is near and dear to every baseball fan: Introducing your significant-other to baseball; indoctrinating him/her into “the baseball life” is a process that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.

Baseball has always had its ties to romanticism. The fluidity with which the players execute, the history of the sport, the emotional bonds that boys and girls have to the game and to the ballpark. Many writers have taken on that very subject, and I’m keeping this short, so perhaps another day.

The process of teaching your better half about baseball is especially satisfying when you are with someone who came into the situation with a blank canvas.

I can remember the early stages of my relationship; my girlfriend came over to my place to hang out when the MLB season had just started. When she arrived, I’m sitting in my room with fired up (an absolute must-have; I’m passionate about the entire league, not just the Rangers).

I had explained to her previously that I’m a huge Rangers fan, but at that time I was watching… some west coast game because it was late. “The Rangers are off tonight. Astros are on the west coast. They’re going to be good this year. Want to see what they’ve got.”

Let’s just say she was probably terrified of what she had gotten into. I explained that I had no desire for her to become as involved as I was! Just that she try and gain enough knowledge and interest to make the games enjoyable to watch together. Much healthier than my crazy passion.

I’ll tell you what – seeing progression of the knowledge of players on the team is exciting. Hearing comments about players or game situations that show that there is growing interest is awesome. Going to games in person with each other to build that tangible bond to the ballpark and game is thrilling. Making memories watching the game you love with the person you love is priceless.

From the introduction to the game, through the teaching and all the questions – it’s all about what every baseball fan wants to hear from their significant other – “Let’s watch the game later.”

These are my thoughts this Valentine’s Day as they tie to baseball and the Rangers. Spring Training is nigh.

  • Steve Boynton

The pennant

I’ve learned more from my wife than she has from me. From me, she’s basically learned to appreciate baseball.

But in learning baseball from me, she helped the Rangers rally to the pennant.

See, the first major league game she ever attended was Game 6 of the 2011 ALCS. We were sitting in Section 341, about halfway to Jerry World. Even from that vantage, we still had no elbow room—those were the days—but we could see everything, and feel the excitement even more. As the crowd went, so went her questions. She wanted to understand every boo, every cheer, and especially, every moment of elation.

Hand to God, as we entered the bottom of the third, she asked, “So can the same batter bat twice in an inning?” I said, “Well, yes. It’s called batting around. It doesn’t happen much, and it means a lot of good (or bad) has happened.”

That inning, five Rangers batted twice; nine of them scored. She called the David Murphy three-run single. Every time she’d ask a question, inevitably for the better, something good would happen.

It was all over but the shouting. Six innings later, fireworks exploded and the stadium shook like nothing I’d ever experienced. The players and staff rushed the field. The Rangers had repeated as AL champions.

My wife’s from the land of the Indians (Spokane, not Cleveland), and not Mars, and so she understood baseball, but mostly as a concept and cultural touchstone. She wasn’t a fan.

Then that night happened. Then the Rangers batted around. Then her questions helped the Rangers win a pennant. Six years later, when we need a rally, I still beg her to start asking questions.

She’s never looked back.

Neither have I.

  • Chris Connor
Chris Connor
As a lifelong DFW resident, Chris Connor is a diehard Rangers fan, and worships at the altar of Arlington. Along with John Manaloor, he co-owns Shutdown Inning, and serves as Editor in Chief for SDI.
He holds a Bachelors of Science in Management and an MBA, both from UT-Dallas.
As a writer, he acknowledges that he’s never had a brilliance for brevity, but tries to meander to a meaningful point as he channels Faulkner. He believes the only things more beautiful than Ted Williams’ swing are Yosemite Valley at sunrise and his wife.
He lives with the latter, along with their beloved dog and quite tolerable cat, in Allen, Texas.

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