The Sun ran an article recently about the “wonder years” – the time in the life of a kid when things get rooted deep in their heart, near impossible to dislodge.
They identified age eight as the sweet spot. They were talking about Orioles fandom, but it’s true of other things too, like faith. From Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
My buddy Oscar is a Cleveland native who has lived the last decade in Baltimore, with little adult time spent in Ohio. He’s a bit of a sports nut, but he’s sworn off watching the Browns, due to their betting the ranch on the ethically-challenged Deshaun Watson.
“So you’d cheer for the Ravens if they were playing the Browns?” I asked. “Uh, Barn, you don’t understand.” The roots run deep.
Dormant Seeds Sometimes Sprout Years Later
We occasionally took our college-age son Grey to Orioles games growing up. His intensity of interest was more candle than blow torch.
We continued to tend and water. Starting in high school, he and I decided to hit as many MLB stadiums as we could. We are up to eight:
Then a big dose of Miracle-Gro – this season, Orioles Magic did a reappearing act, and Grey’s interest went white hot. Suddenly he was watching most of the games (pirated on StreamEast – no comment), playing Out of the Park Baseball, and asking for a Adley Rutschman or Austin Hays jersey for his birthday.
Then the Os made the ALDS versus the Rangers, and Grey’s fall break just happened to coincide with Game 1. (As did Pippa’s). To go or not to go?
Experiences > Things
If you are a regular reader, you’ll know I’m an “experiences, not things” type of person. And I feel that splurges are occasionally justified, as when we spent $1,385 to see Hamilton in NY or when we vacationed in Europe.
Playoff baseball tickets are crazy expensive, but they’re still cheaper than NFL or NBA playoffs. SeatGeek is the official MLB partner, so I checked them out, then Vivid, then Gametime. Gametime had the best combination of base price plus fee (nearly $60 each!). Total hurt for four upper deck seats: $872. Our only other cost was $14 for parking on Eutaw Street and $29.66 for Camden Yards chicken fingers and fries.
I’d actually paid more per seat for sports tickets once before: $255 each for Grey and me to see the Cleveland Indians play the Tigers in Detroit in April 2021. Pandemic fears still ruled the world then, and Detroit had limited stadium admission to 7,000 people, artificially driving up costs. It’s hard to recall all the insanity back then, but this pic I took of rows of seats zip-tied shut at Comerica Park will give you a taste:
So, were the pricey Os tickets worth it? Look at these faces:
And if recent past performance is the best predictor of the future, the team’s next home playoff game won’t be for another decade, so my wallet is safe for a while. Though I hope I’m wrong. 🙂