But fans for differing reasons.
I love the San Francisco Giants. Not so much because they are the world’s greatest baseball team. Nor because they have the most incredible ballpark in the country (even though it really is amazing.) No. I like them because those around me do. My husband and my son in particular.
Indeed, their love of the Giants was one of the only things that brought them together during the years that constituted our son's journey through his teens. And of course, their getting along often meant a peaceful home!
The apex of that fellowship was realized during the summer Barry Bonds was chasing #756. Praying that Bonds would hit the historical home run in front of the Giants’ fans at ATT Park, they needed to figure just which days they should buy their tickets for. There wasn’t a lot of extra money for attending ball games.
As they were both apt to do, they approached the task mathematically. A spreadsheet and educated guesses were made. How many games are left in the season? How many home runs does Bonds hit on average? How many home verses away games, etc. So, despite a limited budget they were able to buy tickets for some precious “likely” home games.
I would have approached it mathematically, too, seeking days that were even. Specifically days containing my lucky numbers: 2, 4, 6, 12, or 24... We’d have been out of luck. Bond’s broke the record on August 7, 2007.
But my guys' teamwork paid off. They were sitting in the stands when Bonds launched the record-breaking ball, shattering Hank Aaron’s record. They were there together. I was watching from home; hoping to catch a tiny glance of them having some fun together, and making a life-long memory.
I was pretty appalled with how the Giant’s eventually treated Bonds. They made a ton of money off him as he chased the record. But still, they condescended to him with whispers about performance enhancing drugs, removed the banners prematurely, etc. To me it seemed like management couldn’t wait to get rid of him. I thought they were ungrateful, hypocritical, and, even prejudiced.
How very ironic that we recently learned about Mark McGuire’s steroid use. McGuire could have spoken up as Bonds was pilloried. But whatever. I’m still a fan. A fan because my family spent that summer, Barry “Bonding.”