Recently I had devastating news that I couldn’t have a dream job of mine this summer because I was born just a few months short of the cut off. I needed to be 21 in order to do this job and since I won’t turn 21 till after the season starts, I am ineligible to be involved. After complaining to my parents for not birthing me prematurely, I realized if my birthday wasn’t on the fabulous day of May 1st, I probably wouldn’t be the baseball fan I am today. Every year on my birthday since I was 12, instead of hanging out with friends, I can be found in a baseball stadium cheering on the Milwaukee Brewers.
The day I was born the Brewers were in a 19 inning battle against the Chicago White Sox only to win it 10 to 9. Rumor has it that my father was watching the game while waiting for me to be delivered, which if true, completely explains why I was born a baseball fan.
My family started the tradition of watching baseball on my birthday not expecting it to turn into what it has. We went to Milwaukee for the weekend after my 12th birthday to see extended family and see a game.
On my 13th birthday, we lived just outside of Milwaukee. My dad took me and a few of my friends to the game. It went into extra innings and probably to the relief of my dad, the Pittsburgh Pirates quickly ended things in the 10th so he could get five 7th graders home at a decent hour on a school night.
My 14th birthday!
My 14th birthday went more to my liking….Brewers won 13-3 against the Cincinnati Reds. Since we lived back in Dubuque I was lucky enough to convince my parents to drive up for the game on a Sunday. My grandparents and old friend joined me for the occasion and my tradition started to become an annual event.
When I turned 15, the tradition was in stone. My dad and I drove the three hours up to Milwaukee and then three hours back home, all on a school night! The Brewers made it worth it by winning 4 to 2 against the Houston Astros.
At 16, the Brewers started a win streak on my birthday for me by winning 12-2 against my least favorite team in the majors, the St. Louis Cardinals.
When I turned 17, I was faced with a dilemma. For all of the previous Brewer games I had attended on my birthday, they were always played at home. This year, they were playing against the Cubs in Chicago. Luckily, my dad agreed to drive the extra hour (and pay the expensive tolls, parking, and train fares to get to the ‘Friendly Confines’ of Wrigley Field. To make it worse, the Cubs took the early lead, and we had to endure the raucous Cub fans mock us for wearing our Brewer shirts. My dad was ready to leave in the 8th with the Crew behind 3-1 so we could beat some of the traffic for the long drive home, but I wouldn’t let him. “It ain’t over till it’s over”, I reminded him. Sure enough, the Brewers scored 3 runs in the 9th, and we were able to shut those Cub fans up. Traffic or no traffic, it sure was a fun ride home!
When I turned the old age of 18, my friends and parents skipped school to celebrate my birthday at Miller Park which is when I got a batting practice home run ball hit by Prince Fielder (a very special birthday present for such a loyal fan). The Brewers ended their winning streak on my birthday by losing to the Diamondbacks 5 to 2, but the new baseball helped me through the pain.
For my 19th birthday, I was no longer living at home so the debate of celebrating my birthday at a stadium came up again. And to top my going to school in the Twin Cities, this year’s game would be in San Diego, CA, so this would be an EXPENSIVE birthday present if we could swing it. Luckily for me, Dad gave in, and since my birthday was on a Saturday my dad, my brother and I had plenty of time to fly to San Diego for the weekend. Brewers won their only game of the series on my birthday against the Padres.
My 20th birthday would be the first birthday without my dad. Since he was teaching in Ireland for the semester, so my two older brothers stepped up and flew with me to Houston for my birthday. Brewers were beat by two former teammates, Bill Hall and Carlos Lee. So I’ve decided if I ever meet either of them I am telling them as much as I love them when they played for the Crew, they ruined my 20th birthday. [picture]
I have been lucky to have my birthday on the weekend for the last two years, especially since I have had to travel to celebrate them correctly. This year, my 21st birthday, the Brewers will play on a Tuesday night in San Diego. I have agreed with my dad that although it will be strange not being at a ball park on my actual birthday, spending the next weekend in San Francisco at a stadium I’ve never been to will make up for the void.
So, if my parents would have had me prematurely and not have my birthday during baseball season, I would have never been able to celebrate each birthday with my favorite team. Which is why I am thankful I have a baseball season birthday and wouldn’t have it any other way.