By Emma Span
Yogi Berra as soon as stated: “If you return to a fork within the street, take it.” yet for lifelong baseball aficionado Emma Span, it hasn’t consistently been that easy. Now, during this successful choice of essays, Span chronicles her love of the game, from early life pastime to full-blown obsession, from massive holiday (becoming The Village Voice’s first employees activities reporter in years) to heartbreak (getting a crimson slip inside a year). She recounts elbowing her solution to get a quote from Yankees captain Derek Jeter and looking ahead to Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez to place a few pants on for an interview. She actually offers her lifeblood to work out the Mets and hops a airplane to Taiwan, domestic to might be the biggest focus of Yankees enthusiasts outdoor of the 5 boroughs. yet upon getting laid off and being pressured to go away her press go at the back of, Span wonders if her ardour for the game will fade. hugely not likely. Baseball helped Span forge an enduring bond together with her father, hook up with overall strangers, and suffer even the hardest instances. With a clean voice, a devastating wit, and an alarmingly encyclopedic wisdom of the game, Span deals a brand new standpoint on America’s favourite pasttime—as a journalist, a baseball nerd, a daughter, and a fervent stay-until-the-last-out fan.
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Extra info for 90% of the Game Is Half Mental: And Other Tales from the Edge of Baseball Fandom
Left to her own devices, she prefers to put Law & Order on in the background for aural wallpaper and settle in with the Times. It must have been 1995 when my dad took me to my first Yankees game, because Andy Pettitte was the rookie starter. I don’t know why it took us so long to get there; for whatever reason, the Yankees had been something to watch on TV instead of a live event. Being there in person ratcheted up my passion by several orders of magnitude. I got to see my beloved Paul O’Neill in the flesh, and was relieved that he had a solid game, so the water cooler would live to see at least one more day.
It was so long ago that I can’t swear there was a direct correlation, but I don’t remember her coming over as often after that. My father, for his part, denied everything and continues to deny it to this day. If baseball has one undeniably valuable social function, it’s that it serves as the universal language for people trying to communicate with their fathers on otherwise tense occasions. I can hardly count the number of people I’ve heard talk about this, or the number of eulogies I’ve read that included some reference to baseball and its bonding properties.
No matter how much of your heart you pour into the Yankees, after all, they will not pour their hearts into you. My mom enjoyed going to a game every season or two, and rarely complained about our monopolizing the TV for half the year. If the Yankees won in dramatic fashion, she might make quiet approving noises on our behalf, but unlike me she wouldn’t applaud, or curse an ump, or superstitiously remain in one lucky spot on the sofa to keep a rally going. Left to her own devices, she prefers to put Law & Order on in the background for aural wallpaper and settle in with the Times.