With this post, I’m adding two more categories: Nostalgia and Favorites. The more I work on this blog, the more I find myself wanting to have a place where I’m not just talking about the things that inspire me now, but talking about the things that used to have a large place in my life when I was younger. It is easier to talk about the things that you like now because they are immediate, but I also want to remember where I came from. I still consider them my “favorites” but because they are more memories than anything now, they are also very nostalgic to me. So, while something can certainly be my favorite, it might not always be nostalgic. Get it?
Let’s begin with baseball. At one point, it was my life. I played baseball. I collected baseball cards. I lived and breathed it. Now, I play one of my current favorites, fantasy baseball, and watch some games, but I don’t think I’ll ever get to the point I was from 1986 to 1992. Let’s start with my absolute hero, Kirby Puckett.
Above is one of the moments I will remember him by, a walk-off home run during Game 6 of the 1991 World Series. It was a a World Series I watched from beginning to end. He was my favorite. A friend of mine makes fun of me because I probably started liking him because of his first name, but I grew to love the way he played the game and his personality. Plus, he played my position, center field. I collected everything with his face on it. I went to baseball games in other cities just to see him play. One of my most treasured possessions is a personalized autograph from him on a poster that I keep saying I want to be buried with. And, when he got inducted in to the Hall of Fame, I went to Cooperstown. It is hard to imagine that he has already passed away, but he always hold be one of my heroes.
My other favorite was Rickey Henderson. He was very different from Kirby Puckett. Plus, I think I’ve grown to appreciate his career more as I have gotten older. He is kind of a jerk and full of himself, but there is no question about how he played the game. He has passion for baseball. While other players were content to retire and fade away, Rickey kept on getting on to Major League rosters into his 40’s. He even played minor league just to have a chance to get back in the majors. He hasn’t even officially retired. He is a true physical specimen and a motivated and talented athlete. He has broken many records and, in my opinion, should be respected more as one of the greatest. And, he also makes for great story telling. I want to see him inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009 because he will be there.