As a Child I Loved Baseball

By Eric D.Graham
Updated: June 17, 2011

By Eric D.Graham

NORTH CAROLINA, (BASN) As a child…

I loved baseball cards, bubble gum, and my cousin Truman.

I loved the 7th inning stretches, extra innings, and doubleheaders.

I loved Little League, hotdogs and lacing up my cleats.

As a child…

I loved aluminum bats, standing in the on-deck circle, and chasing foul balls.

I loved no-hitters, shut outs, and perfect games.

I loved switch hitters, relief pitchers, and Phil Niekro’s knuckle ball.

As a child….

I loved a dirty uniform with grass stains and spitting as if I had a mouthful of chewing tobacco.

I loved the All-Star games, pennant races, and “Bucky” Dent.

I loved batting gloves, wrist bands and that “black stuff” you put under your eyes.

As a child…

I loved baseball signals, on-field chatter, and late inning dug out rallies.

I loved Double-plays. Sacrifice flies. Grand-Slam Home Runs. Triples down the line. Doubles off the wall and lead-off Singles.

As a child…

I loved Ricky Henderson’s batting stance and his head first slides.

I loved Ozzie Smith’s back flip and Fernando Valenzuela’s screw ball.

As a child…

I loved Vida Blue’s high leg kick and J.R. Richard’s 100 miles per hour fast ball.

I loved David Winfield’s long legs and his gap tooth smile.

I loved the San Diego Chicken and those ugly brown and yellow San Diego Padres uniforms.

As a child…

I loved Mookie Wilson and Willie Wilson.

I loved Willie McGee and Willie Randolph

As a child…

I loved the New York Yankees’ pinstripe uniform and the Boston Red sox

I loved Reggie Jackson and his homerun swing.

I loved Billy Martin’s sand kicking tirades and Earl Weaver’s temper tantrums.

As a child…

I loved Darryl Strawberry’s rookie season and Ken Tekulve’s side-armed wind-up.

I loved Dave Stewart’s perfect game and Steve Carlton’s World Series victory.

As a child…

I loved to see George Bell take one deep and Dave Kingman strike out

I loved Greg Luzinski and Carlton Fisk

I loved Tim Raines and Ron LaFlore

As a child…

I loved Rod Carew’s batting average and Kirby Puckett’s power.

As a child…

I loved to see Nolan Ryan standing on the mound and Goose Gossage coming out of the bullpen.

I loved to see Dwight Gooden catch someone looking and Eric Davis catch one on the warning track.

I loved to see Lou Brock steal second base and Davie Lopes play second base.

As a child…

I loved Dusty Baker and Don Baylor

I loved Reggie Smith and Ken Singleton

I loved when Harold Baines and Fred Lynn stepped in the boxer’s box and when Gary Carter and Tony Pena sat behind the plate.

As a child…

Even though, I didn’t speak Spanish,

I loved Keith Hernandez and Tony Perez

I loved Cesar Cedeno and Pedro Guerreo

As a child….

I loved Fenway Park and the Green Monster.

I loved natural grass and artificial turf.

I loved Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field.

I loved the Astrodome and Jose Cruz.

As a child….

I loved Three Rivers Stadium and Mike Easley

I loved George Brett and Dave Murphy.

I loved the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs.

As a child….

I loved Leon Durham and Andre Dawson.

I loved Harry Carry and Jody Davis.

As a child…..

I loved the Milwaukee Brewers even though I didn’t drink beer.

I loved Paul Molitor and Cecil Cooper.

I loved Ben Oglivie and Robin Yount.

As a child…

I loved the Big Red Machine.

I loved Pete Rose and Johnny Bench.

I loved George Foster and Dave Concepcion.

I loved Joe Morgan and Ken Griffey Sr.

As a child…

I loved the Pittsburgh Pirates theme song “We are Family” by Sister Sledge.

I loved the way Willie Stargell wiggled his hips and twirled his bat.

I loved the way Omar Moreno choked up on his bat and Mike Schmidt swung for the fence.

As a child…

I loved David Parker’s gold chains and Bill Maddox’s beard.

I loved Jim Rice and Eddie Murray’s mustaches.

But Rollie Fingers’ mustache was the best.

As a child….

I loved the Detroit Tigers and Sparky Anderson

I loved Lou Whitaker and Allan Trammel

As a child…

I loved Donnie “Baseball”, Charlie “Hustle, “and “Mr. October

As a child….

I love the peanuts, the popcorn, and the cracker jacks.

But after the steroids era, I think, I’ll never come back