My Love Affair With Baseball

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By Jen Doyle, author of CALLING IT

 

There’s something about baseball that has always appealed to me. The crisp green grass, the crack of the bat, the way those baseball pants fit so well…

Baseball pants aside, some of my most vivid memories revolve around baseball, starting when the Red Sox and Yankees played the AL East tie-breaker in 1978, my parents and their friends cheering as they crowded around our tiny little TV.

Baseball was always a part of our life growing up. My mom came from a Brooklyn Dodgers family—the family legend is that her uncle moved to L.A. specifically to express his displeasure from the stands of Dodger Stadium. My dad, on the other hand, was a Yankees fan through and through, raising his three daughters to be the same.

Ron Guidry and Bucky Dent were my first celebrity crushes (just barely inching out Mark Harmon in his 240-Robert days), but it was Thurman Munson who I truly fell in love with. Despite the awards he racked up—Rookie of the Year, three-time Gold Glove Award, and seven-time All-Star, just to name a few—his being the first Team Captain since Lou Gehrig was what truly hooked me. The respect of teammates and management alike spoke to me not just of his talent, but of his humility and love for the game and for his team.

Despite this history, in real life, I managed to fall in love with a Red Sox fan. Although his allegiances weren’t unexpected—my husband grew up in Boston, after all—it came as a blow to my family. And I had no intention of converting.

Sure, we moved to Boston. Sure, we went to Fenway Park regularly. But me, a Sox fan? No way.

Flash forward to 2003. On that fateful October night, as I watched Aaron Boone hit his walk-off home-run and felt that bone-crushing disappointment, I realized I’d succumbed. Because I, like the rest of Red Sox Nation, had believed that maybe this time they would win.

IMG_5936They didn’t; not that night. But the Red Sox of 2004 were an entirely different ballgame. (Yes, I went there.) Damon, Lowe, Ortiz… Although the list goes on, it wasn’t any one individual—it was the team. It was everything baseball should be.

And on that October night when the Red Sox beat the Yankees in their historic win—when my dad called my husband and their conversation was the very definition of sportsmanship—I realized I’ve been blessed to have these men I love up close and the men I love from afar. And that writing CALLING IT gave me the chance to put my love affair into words.

How about you? Is it the crack of the bat that gets your heart racing? The pants? Do tell…

CARINA_0416_9781459294325_CallingIt_WebCALLING IT by Jen Doyle

Baseball player Nathan Hawkins needs to get away from Chicago. After a near career-ending car accident and with paparazzi surrounding his penthouse, Nate can only think of one place to go: home. But when he finds his old apartment occupied by a half-naked woman wielding a baseball bat, he’s not sure what to think…except that maybe his luck has finally changed for the better.

Librarian Dorie Donelli never thought she’d get to meet her fantasy man in person—much less in her bathrobe. To her surprise, her nearly naked run-in with Nate leads to more unclothed encounters. But Dorie is sure their fling is only temporary. As long as she remembers he’ll be gone once his life gets back on track, she won’t get hurt. In the meantime, she throws herself into enjoying their three weeks together before he has to report for spring training and go back to his old life.

For Nate, being with Dorie is the only time in months that he finds himself smiling. Laughing. And he has no intention of letting that go. He might even be falling in love…if only Dorie will let him say the words. What they have isn’t just a dream, but the start of a dream come true.

This book is approximately 101,000 words

 

 

Jen Doyle has an M.S. in Library and Information Science and has worked as a librarian, an events planner, and an administrator in both preschool and higher ed environments. For more information, see www.jendoyleink.com.

10 thoughts on “My Love Affair With Baseball”

  1. Elizabeth Harmon says:

    I’m a Cubs fan so I get the whole long-suffering thing. I have always had a soft spot for the Red Sox…kindred spirits. Congratulations on your debut.

    1. Jen Doyle says:

      I feel the same way about the Cubs! (And I’m totally rooting for them.) Thanks, Elizabeth!

  2. Christine Fritts says:

    I’ll forgive the fact that you grew up a Yankees fan and the fact that you neglected to mention Jason Varitek as a part of that memorable 2004 team. I’ll forgive these facts just because I love you, almost as much as I love the sight of those aforementioned baseball pants on a certain catcher’s thighs. ;)

    1. Jen Doyle says:

      LOL! But you will notice, of course, that Tek plays an important role in the book. (Or at least Tek’s number does…)

  3. Steph says:

    Baseball players have the best legs! I have minimal team allegiances, I just root for the sweet ones that git it done! And look good while they’re at it ;)

    1. Jen Doyle says:

      LOL!!!!! Whatever it takes…

  4. As the Ammirati sister who has remained a Yankees fan I will say: this book transcends team alliances! I know I’m biased because Jen is my sister but know that my bias is tempered by the fact that I’m the diehard Yankees fan and Jen is the diehard Sox fan (as is Camilla (the youngest sister) after her stint living in Boston) and yet, one of the things I love so much about this book is that it appeals to baseball fan in each of us first and then to the team alliances in us all. Take it from me, if I can love a book whose main character is a diehard Sox fan then you KNOW there’s something amazing here. :) No kidding, enjoy the escapades of Dorie and Nate, knowing that there are few couples with whom you’d rather share a date night!

    1. Jen Doyle says:

      Ha! Love you, Jess. :)

  5. Vinny Camire says:

    Grew up a Yankees fan (Dad was from Manhattan) and am still one today. But I never took the kids to the Cathedral of Baseball, Stadium. When Terry moved to Boston she got caught up in all the Red Sox Nation hoopla, and she and her sister became Boston fans.
    Just goes to show you: If you don’t bring your kids to church regularly, they could end up joining some weird cult.

    1. Jen Doyle says:

      So, clearly, you and my dad can commiserate…

      Thanks, Vinny!

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