Monday, October 17, 2011

My Life as a St. Louis Cardinals Fan

[My son's Cardinals shrine; in the background, the Brewers commit an error in Game Six of the NLCS, 2011]

There is something odd, lightly exilic, about being the fan of a team whose city you hardly ever visit.

In 2006, I published a short memoir of my life as a fan for Vice-Versa, when it was edited by the great fan of baseball, Tim Denevi. Now that the Cardinals have again arrived at the World Series, this time not to face the Detroit Tigers but that team's nemesis, the Texas Rangers, I thought to offer a link here. The essay is as much about imaging a sense of place and history as it is about baseball. That I became a Cardinals fan was a lucky accident; that I remain one, some 45 years later, involves persistence, obsessiveness, and the desire for some part of my own history to remain certain, even as transience offers a less sure mode of certainty in daily life. It's also an essay about tradition and team talent: the team I first followed included Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Curt Flood, Tim McCarver. The team I follow now has Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina, and Chris Carpenter on its roster. So I hope you enjoy reading the 2006 essay, as I warm up to write another, perhaps, from the vantage of 2011.

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