Performance non-withstanding, the West Coast trip by the Rangers certainly brings back some fond memories….as a Texan living in The City (that’s SF talk y’all), the one thing that brought home my Ft. Worth roots was baseball. At the time, that meant going to Oaktown (that’s Oakland talk y’all) for the occasional Rangers vs. A’s match-up. So, on June 11th, 1990, I took my girlfriend (another heartbreaking story) to the Coliseum to watch the Ryan Express against the A’s. It was magical, as I single-handedly engaged in a verbal battle with A’s fans (not a good idea in retrospect) over the last 3 innings as Nolan pitched his freaking 6th no-hitter. Unreal. I wept as Ruben Sierra (Ruuuuuuuuubes) caught the last out & the crowd actually starting congratulating me, as if I had done a damn thing.
But still, that was home.
My buddy Chop (name changed to protect the guilty) is a lifelong SF Giants fan, so between the two of us we watched a lot of bad baseball over the years waiting for the moment of redemption. Ironic that it would come for Chop in 2010, almost 20 years after I moved away from the Bay, and against the Rangers no less. But in my heart, I was ecstatic for my boy, because Lord knows I can relate to putting your emotions on hock for a lifetime waiting for a team worth cheering.
Funny that sports has such a geographical and historical hold on us, from the Yankee fans living in Scottsdale, to the Browns fans living in Dallas. I cherish those days in San Fran, it was me (and the Rangers) against the (baseball) world. When I drive thru my neighborhood now and see the random Bengals or Broncos flag flying outside someone’s home, I give a salute – to you Madam or Sir, I tip my cap ~ life’s circumstances can take us away from “home,” but our allegiances are our own for as long as we care to protect them.
I love you Chop, and I’m glad you got your moment in 2010, even at the expense of my beloved Rangers ~ because you, my friend, are a true fan. We can gripe, we can bitch, we can swear off our love for our favorite team, but they always bring us back. And that’s okay.