Out of the woodwork

Mallory Tucker

It’s Wednesday night, and I’m sitting in the newsroom. I’m working on my desktop computer, and my laptop is open next to me, as per usual.

My headphones are in, which is also a common occurrence for production nights. I usually alternate between listening to Pandora and quotes on iTunes that I’ve gathered from interviews and press conferences throughout the week. Tonight however, I’m listening to the live stream of the Cardinals/Giants game. And tonight, I’m emotionally attached to my Cardinals. Then I start to think: did I care like this a month ago? No, I didn’t. Then the terrible realization hits me: I’ve become a fair-weather baseball fan.

I was born and raised a Cardinals fan. In southeast Missouri, everyone is, but not everyone is as much as my family. OK, not everyone is as much as my father.

My parents lived in St. Louis while they were newly married, and my older brother and I were both born there. We attended multiple Cardinals games every summer for as long as I can remember. I can still distinctly remember when New Busch Stadium was built. There are many pictures of me as a small blond girl with curly hair poking out of a red hat. I was a true fan before I understood the rules of the game.

As a preferred walk-on to the University of Missouri baseball team, there is no one more typically “baseball” than my father. I think we still have an old school stereo on our back porch at home, and my dad never stops trying to convince me that listening to the game on the radio is far better than watching it on TV. He still believes that night games are blasphemous and that bleacher seats are the best seats in the stadium. I was raised right, I was raised American and I was raised to love the Cardinals.

So what happened?

I obviously care about sports. I keep up with all kinds of them – partly due to my work as sports editor – from rifle to rowing and football to field hockey. Yet here I am, listening to maybe my 15th Cardinals game of the season.

I attended only one Cardinals game at this summer, and my parents live a mere hour away from St. Louis. One game. The only time I really watched games was when I was at home, with my dad. I’m ashamed to admit this. The Cardinals played 162 games in the regular season this year, and I was only paying attention to a handful of them. Yes, it’s a long season and most people don’t watch or listen to every single game, but I was raised better than that. I hate fair-weather fans. I stay devoted to my Racers and my Missouri Tigers win or lose (yes, I’m talking about Georgia) and yet somehow my poor Cards have suffered.

I don’t know when or how this happened. Did I get too busy for baseball? Did I forget my upbringing? This is me admitting my faults and promising to do better next year – and getting back to listening to Red October.

Column by Mallory Tucker, Sports Editor