After the 2007 regular season something happened in my baseball life. I was babysitting sometime in October and the family I babysit for only has a few cable channels so every time I babysit I have to watch whatever is on the normal network channels after Maggie goes to sleep. Luckily that night there was a baseball game on, Indians vs. Yankees. Naturally I was cheering for the Indians as they were not the Yankees and I as a rule do not cheer for the Yankees. I don’t remember which game was on, I know I should probably remember this since I guess it would be my first ever memory as an Indians fan but I don’t. All I know after that night I was an Indians fan. I didn’t understand it but I was and still am. There is something about the Indians that I just love. I can’t put my finger on it but there is something special about them. I know everyone probably thinks it is all because of Grady Sizemore but it’s not. If that were the case I would have been a Red Sox fan at that point because my favorite player back then was JD Drew who was and still is on the Red Sox. However back then I hated the Red Sox only a little less than the Yankees. For some reason I was drawn to the Indians that offseason and I have been a diehard fan ever since.
I think becoming an Indians fan actually made me more of a baseball fan because I had to go out of my way to follow them. I had to look up there standings and get MLB.TV to watch their games and I actually enjoyed reading the articles on their website. Because I had to actively follow the Indians I began actively following baseball as well. Being an Indians fan exposed much more to the American League because as a Cardinal fan I never really knew much about what was happening in the American League. So now I would say I am a much more “well rounded” baseball fan thanks to the Indians
J. D. Drew was my second favorite baseball. He was first drafted by Philadelphia Phillies but left after one year with them. He then came to St. Louis and became my favorite! In 1998 he made his debut with the Cardinals the same night Mark McGwire broke Roger Maris’s single season home run record (I didn’t know that). He finished the season going 15-36 with five home runs. Not too shabby. In August of 1999 he made his first appearance in Philadelphia after going to the Cardinals and was greeted by a course of boos and D-batteries being thrown at him. That is why I hate the Phillies. In St. Louis he had trouble staying healthy and staying on Tony LaRussa’s good side. LaRussa felt he had no passion. I disagreed. Overall he had pretty good career at St. Louis if I remember correctly but in 2003 he was traded to the Atlanta Braves, prompting me to say I hated Walt Jocketty and I was going to hunt him down and give him a piece of my mind. 😉 He had a great 2004 season with the Braves and then signed with the Dodgers and stayed in LA for two seasons. In 2007 he signed with the Red Sox much to my dismay and is still there today. In the 2008 J. D. made his first All Star Game appearance after years of my relentless voting they finally listened and put him in and he won the All Star MVP award. I was thrilled. In his postseasons with the BoSox he has made significant contributions which have made me happy and very sad at the time. In the 2007 ALDS he hit a grand slam off of Fausto Carmona to keep the Red Sox in the playoffs. I did not know how to feel about that hit. I was happy for him but very angry at the same time. It was terrible. He did it again this year when he got a walk off hit against the Rays to give the Red Sox their largest postseason comeback ever. This prompted teasing text messages from my Red Sox fan friend and did not make me very happy. J. D. has two younger brothers in baseball, Tim and Stephen. I also really like Stephen Drew who plays for the Diamondbacks, but I don’t know that much about Tim.
The significance of the title is from the Drew cheer. Like other players with names ending in an oo vowel crowds will say their name and hold out the “oo” vowel at the end of their name. As a 9 or 10 year old I had no idea what the fans were doing and I thought the St. Louis crowds were booing my favorite player and needless to say I was very upset. So I asked my dad once why they were booing him and he explained the Drew cheer to me. Unfortunately towards the end of his career in St. Louis “Drew” really did become “boo” as not very many Cardinals fan like him all that much. Not me. To this day he is still one of my favorite players, even if he does feel the need to break my heart from time to time. 🙂
Thanks! Tomorrow I will be writing from home in St. Louis about my next favorite baseball player.