Friday, April 10, 2009

The Lost Faith

by Sean O'Donnell

In the summer of 1987, i traded a kid four Bo Jackson Rookie Football cards for a '62 Willie Mays. Things were simpler then. I was a juvenile card shark, and i was a Giants fan.

Then Dad left Mom. Mom remarried. We moved. Moving is hard. I left a school where i was the fastest kid in class, and found myself in a school where i was the slowest kid in class. This reality was a tough pill to swallow. Even tougher than dealing with the fact that we were living with a new guy that i barely knew who had a shotgun and a mustache.

I also left behind:

Bob Brenly
Chris Brown
Will Clark
Chili Davis
Mike Krukow
Jeffrey Leonard
Candy Maldonado
Robby Thompson
Jose Uribe

This was the starting lineup for the 1987 Giants. They weren't a flashy team, but they found a way to win 90 games that year and make it all the way to the NLCS, and all the way into my heart. Candy Maldanado had the best name in baseball and Will Clark was a stud. I love this era of the Giants so much that Nick McCann at one point prompted me to devise a recipe for "Chili Davis 'Chili'". My team was great, and they were winners. And then all the sudden i wasn't in the bay area. I was in San Diego.

It wasn't hard to warm to the Padres (they had John Kruk), just as it wasn't that hard to warm to the guy with a mustache (he had a truck). But to be honest, nothing would ever seem as fresh and new as it was. My world had been shattered, and like any other 8 year old would, I put on my Tony Gwynn shirt, went numb, and watched my love for baseball go on autopilot.

Flash forward a few presidential terms, I find myself rekindling my love for the game. Why has it taken me so long? I'm not exactly sure. Blame puberty, blame Kurt Cobain. BLAME THE PADRES. Looking back on the last 10 years, what have they really given us? Peavy. Hells Bells. Tony Gwynn's 3,000th hit(and 3,000th Double-Double). And that is it. Petco Park? The Pad Squad? I'm done. I can't stand around any more and pretend to be excited about a team that pretends to be exciting. I'm just not that good at pretending.

I have tickets for Sunday's game. But i won't be rooting for the home team. Taking the field that day is a team i CAN be excited about. They aren't amazing. They probably won't have a shot at the pennant. But they do have excitement. Upside. And with me, they have history. They also have Bochy, a proper city skyline, and the singer of the Beach Boys closing games. What else do you want? Me, I don't want anything else. I'm ready for the healing process to begin.

Willie McCoven, I'm home. Welcome me.


Oh and Nick, here is my recipe for Chili Davis Chili.

2 lb. Ground Beef
1 8 oz can Chili Beans
1 8 oz can Tomato Sauce

Combine and stir over medium heat.

1 comment:

tkf said...

Let's get Roethlisbergers if we are ever in Pittsburgh.