Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks…

 

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

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4 responses to “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks…

  1. Gretchen F.

    I have several great Reds baseball memories. I have been a fan as long as I can remember. My dad took us to games when he had the time. We went to Crosley Field, a stadium that had been around since about 1912. Then we went to what was called Riverfront Stadium, in the early 1970s. If my dad couldn’t go to the games, he would listen to the radio, sometimes out in the backyard. We went to a game once at Crosley Field with my mom. Dad had to work longer than expected (he worked on Sundays). Sunday afternoon was bright, warm, and a perfect day for a game. My mom hated sports. While we were root root rooting for the home team, my mom would sit there and read the Sunday paper! I remember coming back to my seat and seeing the paper spread open with her head buried behind it, sort of like a shield or a screen. Another game was the last game at Crosley Field. It was kind of bittersweet, because we had been to so many great games there. It was an exciting game, in which Tony Perez and Johnny Bench hit back-to-back home runs and won the game against pitcher Juan Marichal. We had to leave before the ceremonial removal of second base. In 1972, the Reds made it to the World Series with the Oakland A’s. My dad got tickets to an afternoon game. I was given permission to leave high school early that day, only to see them lose. It was exciting just being there. My sister had quite an obsession with the Reds. She was the youngest of seven. We really don’t know how it started, but she got the collecting bug and had piles of newspapers, program cards, etc lovingly put on display in her bedroom. It got to a point where it became a Reds “museum”. My mom actually took visitors up to her room to show it off! She was kind of embarrassed by the attention, but I’m sure she enjoyed the notoriety. I am still a Reds fan and will continue to be one for the rest of my life.

  2. Hi Nancy! I came here via the WG2E site. I’m up here in NE Ohio and have been a lifelong Cleveland Indians fan. They don’t always give us very much to root for, but I hang in there with them.

    I play “what if,” too. I’m in a bet right now with a fellow blogger for “what if the Indians win the AL Central?” And I play “what if I win the lottery” all the time. I buy the tickets, too. You and I have to play “what if I sell a million books;” it’s required. 😉

    I’m glad I don’t have the corner on “silly” blogs, because things often get out of control on my blog. When you said you are sometimes silly here, I had to run right on over and say hello!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Maddie. Glad you liked the blog. My mom and I play “what if we win the lottery” all the time and I buy the tickets. So far, we have not won. What if I sold a million books? I’ll have to think about that one and I will let you know.

      What if the Cleveland Indians win the AL Central and the Reds win the NL Central? That would be fun. The Reds got Shin Soo Choo from the Indians–I like him.

      Looking fotward to reading your blog–I love to laugh. I have a friend who cracks me up almost all the time (but he can be serious, too, and sometimes that works just as well).

      Have a great night–I’m off to listen to the Reds’ game.

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