Tomorrow, April 1, is Opening Day for the Cincinnati Reds, which reminds me that in the spring my middle-aged woman’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of baseball.
I’ve been a Reds fan for a long time, but really started to love baseball, and my hometown team, when I was hospitalized for seven weeks after a fire and accident in my mom’s kitchen. At that time, I listened to the games on a little blue transistor radio. It was the early seventies—the years of the Big Red Machine. I remember going to a World Series game with my dad—standing room only–and they meant standing room. Of course, I was a lot younger then and didn’t have arthritis in my knees, so I could do it.
When the Reds won the World Series in 1990, I worked downtown. The stores were all decked out with special window displays. A party store had a Halloween display of a tombstone that said “Here Lie the Oakland Athletics” and a mannequin dressed in a baseball uniform. The health food store across from the Federal Building had a huge sign in the window that said “We will not sell any vitamins to Oakland.”
We got a new ballpark and I finally got to go to a game there in 2011. I’m ready and looking forward to the 2013 season. I think about 2010 and last year, when the Reds went to the playoffs. I’m hopeful they make it further this year. I didn’t exactly envision my parents being in a nursing home on Opening Day 2013, or any of the other crazy things that have happened to them and me over the past two years. But it’s spring and Opening Day is finally here so I’ve decided to play what if. Maybe the Reds will be world champions this year. I might win the lottery or, better still, sell millions of books and be independently wealthy. Okay, I’ll settle for hundreds of books and a perm job. I can dream, right? Bring on the hot dogs, peanuts and cracker jacks!
Nancy Goldberg Levine is the author of e-books, “Mr. Short, Dark…& Funny,” “Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless,” “Sweeter Than W(h)ine,” and “Three Strikes—You’re in Love,” a short story collection. Her fake baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Wolves, is featured in her books. In honor of Opening Day, “Three Strikes—You’re in Love” will be free on Amazon.com for that day only. Nancy is giving away an Amazon gift card to the first person to do one of these two things: 1) Get a copy of “Three Strikes—You’re in Love,” read it and post a positive review on Amazon or Goodreads or 2) Make a positive comment about today’s blog. Visit her author site:Amazon.com-nancygoldberglevine