Last Friday my husband took my sons and me to a game at the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin. It made me realize how great the Tampa Bay area is to live in and raise children! Especially for a batball lover like I am.
In case you missed my article in October, I am a new sports fan. I became one after I got to watch my husband’s favorite team, the St. Louis Red Cardinals, win the 2011 America’s Cup.
As I explained in October, it took me a while to understand batball because sports vernacular is complicated, intricate and masculine. But I am a quick learner, so after a couple weeks in the fall and one game this spring, l think I can call myself a legitimate sports enthusiast.
As I said before, I believe it is important for me to show my sons that women can participate in intelligent and fast-paced sports commentary. So I have been studying hard.
Since last Friday, my passion for sports has grown, and I would like to add the Tornado Blue Rays (although I do think the name is a little excessive) as one of my favorite teams.
Having professional teams practice their spring cleaning in Florida is inspirational and fun. I grew up in Florida, so I had the opportunity to see these games my whole life, but I was a silly child who could not wrap my head around how I was going to a New York Yankee’s game in Fort Lauderdale. Yes, I am old enough to know a time before we had the Florida Dolphins. (Except they just changed their name to the Miami Mahi-Mahi’s because people just really don’t want to know they’re eating Flipper.)
In any event, I didn’t know there was so much to learn about batball, even in the out-of-season. I have always felt proud of America for being a loving country that opened its arms to foreigners looking for a better life, but in the last couple years it seems like we have closed our arms and embraced xenophobia. So boy, was I impressed and proud to support a sport that does so much to promote education and improve lives. I truly never understood batball’s dedication to the education of immigrants.
On Friday we watched the Tornados Devil Jays Minority League, Class one A. The way it works is the MIB goes out to countries like Cuba, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Canada to bring back athletes to play. Then they rank these players by their grades. Triple A is the best, meaning all the players have at least a 3.5 average. In addition, the MLD does not let them play big league ball until they’ve picked a major. Isn’t that great? (Now I know we could get into a whole thing about segregation and the semantics of putting them in a minority league, but for now I am proud that they hold education to such a high standard.)
And to think this whole time I just thought it was about who could strike the ball the most.
I hope the guys we saw on Friday are busy studying so they can get more A’s, but not me. I know I’d pass a sports quiz with triple A’s!
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