My Grandmother, who recently turned 81 years old, is a lifelong baseball fan. She grew up in Detroit, spending her days over at old Briggs Stadium, before moving to Cincinnati and becoming a Reds fan, so this year’s postseason was special for her. She is now living in rural Texas, in an area that I’m not sure she would be upset if it was smote off the face of the planet.
Grammy, as I call her, was also the first person to ever buy me a baseball cap, helping me to pick out a white Reds cap with red brim featuring Mr. Red darting across the front when I was four years old. Naturally, after the Reds finished losing to the Giants, and before the Tigers took on the A’s, I called to see her thoughts.
Her first answer when I asked her about the game:
“I cried this afternoon. It just killed me, I watched it. It should not have happened. I love the Reds, they have played exceptional ball this year and I am so proud of them even though I am in Rangers country. I was hoping for the Detroit Tigers and the Cincinnati Reds, as you know the Detroit Tigers are my home.”
I then asked her what she would tell the Reds in the clubhouse if she could talk to them now:
“I would tell them that I was proud of them, I was happy to see that they were in the playoffs and I wish them luck for next year. I’m hoping that they make it again to the World Series, it’s been a dry spell for the Cincinnati Reds. They’ve got to do better.”
And if she could talk to the Tigers before they took on the A’s:
“I would tell them the same, that I’m proud of them. That I used to live at Tigers Stadium, before it was Tiger Stadium, it was Briggs Stadium, and that’s when I used to go all the time. And I am proud of them and I love them and I hope for the American League and I hope that they do well.”
Finally, just to goad her, I asked her about the Texas Rangers:
“Ha. Ha. I’m not that fond of the Rangers and I think that Josh Hamilton made a couple of bad errors.”
The conversation then veered to her favorite players. Currently, it’s Brandon Phillips who she was so impressed with during the series:
“Even with the cramps in his legs and everything else, he would lie there, doing the best he could. Did you see him yesterday when he limped to first base? And to second!”
And her all-time favorites:
“You outta know that. It could be Hank Greenberg, it could be Pat Mullins, it could be Hoot Evers, those were the guys doing well for the Detroit Tigers when I was attending a lot of the games. And Hal Newhouser, my goodness, there’s so many of them. Of course, they’re probably all gone by now. I was a kid so they were a lot older.”
I then let her go because the ballgame was about to start and she had to turn on the TV and spend a few minutes finding the right channel.