I made sure I went to a baseball game when I was in Boston in 2009. I had wanted to understand the rules of baseball since I was about 13, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to learn them while watching a game.
I dragged my girlfriend to Fenway Park for a tour in the morning and afterwards I insisted we returned with lots of time to soak up the atmosphere before the game began. Unfortunately, it was raining so the start was delayed by some two hours, and the game was eventually rained off in the sixth inning.
But that didn’t bother me too much. In the few hours I was there, I picked up most of the rules and saw a home run, which is admittedly all I wanted to get out of it.
A year later, we attended a San Francisco Giants game at AT&T Park in San Francisco. By now I had been watching baseball since my visit to Boston and felt a slight allegiance to the Red Sox. But that changed when I visited San Francisco.
In my opinion, it’s hard not to fall in love with San Francisco, and I really fell for the baseball team. I went to two games during the three weeks we were there, one of which was an awesome derby against rivals the LA Dodgers that the Giants won via some inexplicably brilliant baseball. Although I stopped short of joining in the deafening chants of ‘BEAT LA!’, I chatted a little with the people sat around and me exchanged numerous high-fives when celebrating the home runs that night. It felt right supporting the Giants, they welcomed me in and I accepted, so it was decided. They’d be my team.
I’ve never had any luck with football. I would never support anyone because they win trophies, which is why I’m painfully happy supporting West Ham. So imagine my happiness that the Giants also won the World Series – for the first time since they moved West from New York after the 1957 season – some two months after I watched them play; Baseball has already been more rewarding that football in terms of trophies won in my lifetime.
In my eyes, MLB baseball players make Premier League footballers look pathetic. When you see the accuracy and speed with which they throw the ball… it is mesmorising. They could hit the tip of a pin at 90mph.
Anyway, I have since been left in a state of despair that none of the massively popular baseball video games have been released over here, and the US releases won’t work on UK Xbox 360s. Until now.
MLB 2K11 has been manufactured so it will work on both US NTSC and UK PAL consoles. Couple that with the fact that my favourite pitcher Brian Wilson did an ad campaign for the game, and I couldn’t resist ordering it. I got an excellent price on ebay too. So until it arrives, I’ll be watching the Giants’ closer Brian Wilson in these adverts.