Having been raised in the UK, I’ve only ever had a vague awareness of baseball and how it works. I knew it was “America’s National Pastime”, and that Babe Ruth was a famous player and that a home run was a good thing, but that was about it. Until about five years ago that is. I was working a summer job in Houston one year when my boss invited me out to see an Astros game with his family. He couldn’t believe that I’d never seen a game on TV, let alone a live one, so he insisted on introducing me to the game.
I had popcorn. I had a hot-dog and some coke. I listened as he explained what the numbers on the scoreboard meant. I watched as the batter swung, heard the sharp crack of the bat, smiled as the crowd leapt to its feet with an appreciative roar.
I was hooked.
Five years on and I still love the game. I hardly ever get to watch it over here in the UK, and I dream of the day I go to Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium and watch another live game. I’m thrilled by the depth of the game, and the theatre before me. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the 'Stros, but after a careful and considered decision, I think I’m a Red Sox fan. Not sure why, but they just have something that appeals to me.
So here I am, a British Baseball fan, stranded thousands of miles away from a real game, and with one burning question on my mind - Why the hell are those Damn Yankees so dominant? How come they’ve won the World Series time after time, with an almost monotonous regularity? Is it just that they can out-spend their rivals and buy up all the big talent, or is there another reason?
Please fill me in, guys - what’s the deal here?