Every one of us would like to accomplish certain things before our last out is recorded in a long life of baseball fandom.
You have a baseball bucket list, don't you? I know I do!
Stuff I've seen:
- I've seen the Astros throw a no-hitter. Yes, I was a face in the crowd at the old Yankee Stadium on June 11, 2003, when Roy Oswalt, Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner combined to hold the Yankees hitless. Any statisticians out there who can tell us if a six-pitcher no-hitter is more rare than a perfect game?
- I've seen an inside-the-park home run. I can't remember who hit it, but I definitely was there for one, and if I ever see another one, I swear I'll remember the particulars!
- I've seen a triple play. It wasn't unassisted, but yes, I've seen a triple play.
- I've even seen Morganna run onto the field and plant a big one (or was it two?) on Nolan Ryan in the Astrodome. I don't think she was actually on my bucket list to begin with, but after seeing it happen, I realized she certainly should have been there all along.
Stuff I'd like to see:
- I want to see an unassisted triple play.
- I want to see J.R. Richard and Cesar Cedeno honored in Houston as the baseball heroes they truly were.
- I want to watch a game in every Major League ballpark.
So far, I've only visited the following current and former venues:
Minute Maid Park
Yankee Stadium (old)
Yankee Stadium (new)
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
PNC Park (Pittsburgh)
Safeco Field (Seattle)
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Citi Field (New York Mets)
Stuff I'll never see:
But the saddest items are the ones I've had to scratch from my bucket list because they are no longer attainable.
- I'll never see a game in the old Tiger Stadium. My plans to visit before the last game there in 1999 fell through, and of course now it's too late.
- Similarly, I regret that I never saw a game at Ebbets Field. Sure, I was only 4 years old and living thousands of miles away when they tore it down, so it's not in my consciousness as much as Tiger Stadium, but I still think it would have been cool.
- And just last week I realized that barring another rule change, I'll never get a chance to see the old fake-to-third-throw-to-first play actually work. Nope, I'll never see it because Major League Baseball has removed it from the realm of possibility. The play that had pitchers looking like broken-down Baryshnikovs will now be ruled a balk, and to me, that's sad. Baseball is a sport that is as much about failure as it is about success, and on that basis alone, I'm sad to see it go. Until now, there was always that infinitesimal possibility that some day I would see it, live and in person, not just some relic in the MLB video archives.
But maybe I shouldn't be so sad. After all, I feel like I probably have some good years left, and hey, it's not like my bucket list is empty! I still have the unassisted triple play to witness. And oh yeah — I bet you thought I forgot — a World Series ring for my Astros!