I gotta confess, one of the perks of having lived in other states is being able to “impress” people with my “knowledge” of baseball.
At home in St. Louis, my repertoire of statistics and color commentary runs around the average-to-low end of the spectrum. I get with my friends and family and am soon out-statistic’ed, out-observation’ed, out-fan’ed.
I don’t have a very good frame of reference, because I’ve never lived in another MLB town, but I think this phenomenon is at least somewhat unique to the StL-Metro area. Hearing some of the out-of-towner commentary of this year’s All Star Game festivities confirmed this suspicion: We are an informed, baseball-loving people.
Out of our home element, we seem to be superhumanly obsessed with our Cardinals and with the game itself. Put together, though, our collective knowledge just runs together – much like our created Sea of Red that flows into and around Busch Stadium on game days.
A cute story that I tell to non-St. Louisans involves my incessant cheering of “Ozz-ie! Ozz-ie!” as a diaper-clad, barely-talking child at Cardinals games. This might seem endearing and quirky to those who did not grow up around here; to natives, it’s just another in a long, long list of Tales from Cardinal Nation.
I don’t claim that this phenomenon is unique. I lived in Indiana for about five-ish years and damn do those people love their Colts. And don’t get me started on Oklahoma. I’ve never lived (or even came close to, really) the east coast of this country, but if my stereotypes based on watching Fever Pitch are correct, Red Sox fans are a rabid bunch, too.
Even if I pick up and move to, say, Houston this very minute and live there until I die of natural causes at age 102, the Astros (or the Texans or the Rockets) will never, ever be my team. I was born a Cardinals fan and will die a Cardinals fan (a happy one, I might add, after seeing the end of the 2006 season).
Just another reason why I love this town.
Side note: Do yourself a favor and spend some time here. This dude is incredible and hilarious.