(if your mind first went to New Jersey and not sports jerseys, we can’t be friends)
Later tonight Brian and I are hopping a quick flight to Phoenix, better known in March as “the mecca of pre-season baseball,” to follow the Indians around and revel in the glorious optimism that a clean slate graces an annually disappointing team. We’ll peek in on bullpens, pretend to learn names of minor leaguers who we’ll never hear of again, and critique ABs, pitch location, and off-season weight gain of the veterans. We’ll OD on sunflower seeds and UV rays, and drink plenty of plastic cup beer. I’ll wear everything CLE I own, use my Harry Doyle “juuuuuust a bit outside” voice until annoyance, and will inevitably be disappointed when we board a plane back to CA instead of setting up a tent in front of Progressive (nee Jacob’s) Field and waiting for opening day in Cleveland.
Our First Spring Training Voyage, 2012
Nothing like Spring Training to make you feel like the ultimate Jersey Chaser.
jersey chaser – n – \ jer-ze chay-ser \
Someone who endlessly pursues, often with disregard to self-respect or reputation, a ball player with the intention of gaining entry to “the pack,” and eventual permanent relational status with the targeted athlete. Usually has very little knowledge of the sport. (synonyms: cleat chaser, diamond digger, __[sport]__ ho, etc)
Brian played baseball in college when we started dating, but since I was on the softball team I got an automatic free pass from any “jersey/cleat chasing” reputations (had jerseys and cleats of my own thankyouverymuch.) I also lived with four other baseball guys, tutored one, and was a medical emergency contact for another – suffice to say my entry in the pack was not earned horizontally.
I lived with all of them and only made out with two of them. One turned into my husband and the other’s name is Alison, and is acquitted under the “cheap tequila” act
In the days leading up to this trip, I’ve decided that when you live 2000 miles away from your home team and they make their pre-season “home” a state away, taking a long weekend to visit them to get your money’s worth out of your replica jersey is very low-grade, acceptable Chasing.
And when your mother, father, brother, and sister in law are all flying out from Ohio to join you since you didn’t get to spend the holidays together, it’s just called vacation and a damn good time.
Waaaaaaaay back —- GONE!
– in running-related news, good luck to everyone running the LA Marathon, and track fans make sure to follow along with the World Indoor Championship action in Sopot, Poland. @Flotrack will have you covered. Go USA! –