Believe it or not, spring training is upon us. Pitchers and catchers arrive first, position players a little later, and games will start toward the end of the month. Hope springs eternal. The Giants didn’t get Aaron Judge and the A’s are still in Oakland … and our friendly in-office rivalries are intact, split between San Francisco and Oakland fans. We respect each other’s choices, at least, and wish no ill on each other’s teams. It could be a different story if we were to somehow get another Bay Bridge Series come October …
Baseball came to my mind the other night as I was driving home from a basketball game I had covered and, for some reason, was remembering how much I loved watching late night games. When I lived back east and ESPN was televising games on a regular basis, there was the east coast game at 7:30 p.m. NY time and then the added bonus of a 10:30 p.m. game, a West Coast contest that featured first pitch at 7:30 p.m. in California. It was perfect; after a long day at work, I could catch the end of the first game and stay up late (or early, since they usually went past midnight) for the second one. OK, I didn’t always stay awake for the whole thing but at least it was a great way to cap the evening.
It also took me back in the memory banks to when, as a kid, I would tune in at night to the Yankees games. The station it was on was a powerful wattage station and that was the only one I could get to come in, so listening to the games was my go-to nighttime routine even way back then. My allegiance switched to the National League when the radio station I worked for became a New York Mets affiliate. We were able to attend some of the special media events over the years we were carrying their games so that was an added bonus. We were treated to food and beverages, met some players and broadcasters, and got a behind the scenes look at the old Shea Stadium.
Of course, New York City was a couple hundred miles away from my small hometown so it was a long day whenever we enjoyed those ‘affiliate days’, once or twice a season, but definitely worth it.
Someday, maybe, I will make it to a couple of ‘Cactus League’ games and get to see some spring training action in Arizona. That would be a fun trip; I will have to put it on the post-retirement schedule.
I’ve often talked about my lengthy tenure here; 30 years next month, and how now the pictures I take are photos of the kids of the kids I first took pictures of. (Hope that made sense!) Second generation photos; I will continue to take photos and cover stories likely until the third generation – by that time I will be close to ‘Full Retirement Age’ anyway, or close enough.
My daughter used to go to many assignments with me, whether it was a soccer or basketball game, a talent show at one of the elementary schools, and almost always the National Night Out festivities. Now that the weather is warming up, both she and my granddaughter have accompanied me to a few events. Ally keeps telling Lorelei that it’s her turn to tag along, just like she used to do. Lorelei did put in a brief appearance at football this past fall, we’ve been to high school soccer and just recently she went to a ‘Cookies and Cards’ decorating day at the library. Ally and I also used to have a special mother-daughter afternoon when she first started school, on Wednesdays (a ‘slow’ day since the papers are out) we would just have the afternoon to ourselves. We’d enjoy the park, the library, maybe a movie, an ice cream cone every once in a while. By far my favorite day. I suspect there might be a ‘grammy-granddaughter’ afternoon tradition in the future.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 209-847-3021.