That rare breed, a British fan of America’s Pastime.
My first exposure to baseball came on a family holiday to the USA when I was nine. My parents didn’t take us to a game but in San Francisco they did buy me a t-shirt with a baseball on it. I really loved that t-shirt.
Then in 1997 when Channel 5 launched my brother and I became enthralled with the baseball coverage packaged with their Dominik Diamond-fronted ‘Live & Dangerous’ programme. Tommy Boyd and Todd Macklin were the studio hosts of games streamed from the States. My brother’s interest waned but I, fuelled by strong coffee and a love of statistics, realised I had found a new passion.
I picked the Giants, for no better reason than having fond memories of that holiday in San Francisco. A friend in my class at school had been to game at Candlestick Park and sort of followed the Giants, so I did too. I watched, and recorded on VHS tapes, games every Wednesday and Sunday, as Tommy and Todd were replaced by Johnny Gould, Dave Lengel and Josh Chetwynd. I began picking up copies of USA Today for scores and coverage and things went from there.
There have been a few breaks in the depth of my interest, for various reasons, but for the last couple of years I’ve been pretty much obsessed. January and February are the hardest months for me, and the slow offseason hasn’t helped, but with just a few weeks until early Spring Training things are slowly beginning to look up.