Baseball Season Has Arrived!

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You guys. I am SO excited to be going to my third major league baseball game ever.

My first game was at the old Yankee stadium when I was maybe six years old, wayyy back in 1998. It was just after my birthday, the middle of an exceptionally hot July, and I was just learning to read. Not that it mattered. I already knew most of the important names: Andy Pettitte, David Cone, David Wells, Daryl Strawberry, Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, Bernie Williams, Joe Girardi, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Mariano Rivera, and this hot shot shortstop from my mom’s hometown – Derek Jeter.
My dad’s job sponsored a family bus trip into the city for the game and my father, elder brother, and I attended. Our seats were in the blazing sun and we eventually moved to shady seats that someone had never shown up to claim. I barely noticed. I was too busy watching baseball.
I’ve spent years watching my Yankees on television, and going to most every baseball game that I can get tickets to. Now my 1998 team only plays in the Old Timers Game, and I watch with the same ferocity that I watch the World Series. But I’ve never made it to another Yankee game.

My second game was a Red Sox vs. Orioles game last year that my uncle got free tickets to at a trade show. My uncle, aunt, and baby cousin left early, but I stayed until the very end. I didn’t care that I knew absolutely no one there, much less anyone in the entire city.  And I only cared a little bit that it was a Red Sox game and not a Yankee game. I even cheered for the Red Sox. They won. And the Orioles moved down to the #2 spot, letting my Yankees slide into the #1. 😉

This time around, I bought my own ticket, and I’m taking myself to the ballgame. I don’t even care that it will probably downpour all day and the game will drag on due to rain delays. I’ll be in one of my favorite cities, watching my New York Yankees take on their biggest rivals – my new home team – The Boston Red Sox. And I already know all the important names. ⚾️

 

Book Review: The Boys in the Boat

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Source: Goodreads

     The Boys in the Boat chronicles the lives of the men of the University of Washington Rowing team and their journey to the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin Germany. It’s a historical sports book, but it is so much more than that.

This book was recommended by fellow blogger Carly Heitlinger of The College Prepster. At first, when I read her post about it, I thought “Yeah, I’m sure it’s just like every other sports book. You probably only liked it because you did crew, just like I love Running with the Buffaloes because I’m a runner.” I have never rowed crew before, and besides talking to my friend Charlie about his rowing team in high school briefly this one time, I have rarely even heard of rowing as a sport anywhere except in England. However, I am a naturally curious person and it sounded mildly interesting, so I picked it up before Independence Day Weekend to keep me busy on the beach. Boy oh boy was I wrong about it only being ‘mildly’ interesting.

This book is not only about the sport that is rowing. It is not only about a team who did the impossible, as every great sports book will say of their protagonists. This book is a vital piece of our history. There are so many components of it that it is impossible for you NOT to get sucked into the lives of the University of Washington Rowing team, their coaches, their friends and family, and at the same time the lives of Hitler’s closest confidants and even Hitler himself. This book has everything.

I am a huge believer in the smallest details, and this book nailed them. I especially loved how it was able to capture snapshots of the world in the 1930’s at a variety of different levels. From the singular life of Joe Rantz, to Coach Al Ulbrickson viewing the team as a whole, to President FDR trying to heal the United States in the middle of the Great Depression, to Leni Reifenstahl capturing the essence of the Nazi Regime, and even to Joseph Goebbles attempting to brainwash the entire world into believing that Hitler was different, The Boys in the Boat was able to get across all of the events and ideas seamlessly as if they were happening simultaneously in front of your eyes right here and now.

As a reader, I was swept up in the writing. I cried, I laughed, I felt their nerves and their stresses, their fears and doubts, their pain and their triumphs. I could not be any happier with this book. As Daniel Brown writes at the end “if books can be said to have hearts and souls” then I have to believe that this one has them. This book is as much alive as the Husky Clipper was with Bobby, Don, Joe, Shorty, Gordy, Stub, Johnny, Chuck, and Roger her with a perfect swing. This is definitely a book I will treasure and read over and over and over again.

 HHC Rating: 5 Stars