God, I love baseball. I know these days most people don’t. Its popularity is so far behind football that it’s been years since it really was the national pastime, though it’s still referred to as such.

If I were to rank all of my favourite teams, it’s the football teams that come out on top – the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the NCAA. And yet it’s baseball that I love the most among all of American sports. The game. That funny little game. I sometimes wonder why. Perhaps cos it was my first love?

Or perhaps my brother Les figured it out. An unabashed Broncomaniac and an insane football fan, he has in recent years come to love baseball. He says it reminds him of our youth, which I find interesting- not just “his” youth but “ours”. It’s nostalgia, which baseball oozes in droves, he craves. Perhaps it’s because of my sister, the biggest baseball fan I know, the most diehard St Louis Cardinals fan. When she’s not looking smart, her goto wardrobe accessory is always a red Cardinals ball cap. Always. I can see it on her head now, a coastline away on the other side of the country.

Of course, if they were still around or if I was older, the Brooklyn Dodgers aka “The Boys of Summer” would be my favourite team of all. As it is, I grew up loving and still do love the Los Angeles Dodgers (though in recent years their resemblance to the New York Yankees is extremely unnerving) and the Boston Red Sox. Living in Chicago for twenty years brought the Cubbies close to my heart. In fact, there is nothing more I would want than the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series.

I wrote the following two baseball seasons ago.

Tonight the San Francisco Giants won the World Series. My FaceBook post read, “Hats off to the Kansas City Royals and the Royals fans. Great team. Great series. All class. But wow, Madison Baumgarner! To see something that hasn’t been done in over 100 years- absolutely incredible!! MVP!! Beastmode means something different in the Bay Area now. San Francisco Giants and Giants fans – congrats!!!!! San Francisco will be Rockin’ tonight!!!!!”.

“MadBum” had an epic series. 2-0, 1 save 0.25 ERA. I actually shed a tear. That’s what I do when I see epic performances in sports. They get me every time. Even the replays give me goose bumps. This particular one was special, cos of two things. Before stating those, candidly speaking I have to go on record to state that I hate the Giants. (I have to. I love the Dodgers. But I respect the Giants – much like the way I respect the Cardinals – cos I love how the team has been built thru the draft, instead of being primarily bought, unfortunately like my beloved Dodgers, but I digress…) My best friend loves the Giants. Three of my favourite people at the office loves the Giants. I love seeing them happy.

This morning, I went to Target to buy “A Million Dollar Arm”, the story of two boys from India who would in ten months go from kids who’d never ever picked up a baseball to an MLB tryout. It combines two of the big loves in my life – India and baseball, not to mention its strong themes of family, love and responsibility. I watched it on the bigscreen before leaving for India a few months ago. Watching it tonight reminded me of how much I miss it and love it, both India and baseball.

Between the final scenes of the movie and MadBum’s performance, tonight a few tears of happiness were shed.

I love baseball, even if it means celebrating the win by the biggest rival of my youth.

It’s 2016.

I leave for India in three days.
Go Cubs Go.

Go Adventure. Go Travel. Go Live.

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