Baseball’s genetic: You get it from your parents

jI blame my parents.

Yeah, I hear you, the blame game is getting old. I’m as sick as anyone of people pointing to their past to excuse current deeds. But how else can I explain it? What other reason could there be for my complete lack of interest in all things baseball?

I know I’m not the only one. I may be the only one honest (or idiotic) enough to admit it this week: I care not a whit about the Mariners.

Hold off on the hate mail, at least until you hear my feeble rationale: It’s all my parents’ fault.

I’m used to blaming my boredom with baseball on the nature of the turtle-paced American pastime. Too slow, I’ll say. This from a woman who’s addicted to the PBS series "Antiques Roadshow," which doesn’t exactly fly by at lightning speed.

As I sat Friday trying to tune out happy whoops from co-workers crowded around a newsroom television, I admitted to myself that the deficiency is mine, not the game’s.

In this one area, my parents were negligent. I wasn’t born to baseball fandom.

My introduction to the World Series came in grade school. One October day, our principal allowed a radio in the lunchroom. Twinkie trading came to a halt as classmates listened to the tinny broadcast. They knew the teams, the pitchers, the batters. I didn’t know a thing.

I grew up in a hockey house, a football house, a basketball house. There was sports talk, just no baseball talk.

My folks had season tickets to minor league hockey. If I was lucky, my mom would beg off, and I’d be the one invited out on a winter night to see the Spokane Comets, later the Jets and now the Chiefs. I loved the speedy sound of pucks and players hissing across the ice and smashing the boards. I loved the popcorn. A hockey game is the only place I’ve ever heard my father yell.

It’s nuts, but I’d sooner see hockey than the Mariners, even today.

I was also exposed early to football. Joe Albi Stadium was the place to be Friday nights in the fall. My parents took a Thermos, a blanket and a car full of kids. By first grade, I knew the deal with a first down. If I call home on a Sunday, the greeting is, "Your father is watching his Seahawks."

My basketball boy wonder of a brother got me hooked on hoops. He’d coax me into watching "Pistol" Pete Maravich’s hot-dog passes. The worst thing about going to college was missing my brother’s Ferris High School basketball games. Hear those bounces, thunks and swooshes coming from a north Everett alley? The basketball sounds are coming from my backyard, even when my kids aren’t home.

People are in love with baseball. They talk about it being a mental game. They talk about kicking back and relaxing through all those innings. I’ve heard it. I just don’t get it.

I can’t help that I didn’t learn baseball at someone’s knee.

My husband’s grandmother was a team nurse for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had memories of long afternoons spent listening to ballgames on the radio with his Gram. He was taught young to love baseball. I never saw an entire baseball game until I met him.

In truth, I feel left out. I know enough about the Mariners to know I like Edgar, not much else. I know I wouldn’t mind seeing the M’s win, if only to rub it in the nose of that Griffey person.

I won’t be whooping it up around the TV, though. If it stops raining, I’ll be out shooting baskets. Don’t hate me for that. I’m not un-American. I love Mom and apple pie.

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