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Lifelong Baseball Obsession Loses Out To Soccer, Concert Series, Quilters

Here are five things going on in the South Windsor area today

Good morning, South Windsor! Today is Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012; there are 144 days left in the year.

I can’t believe I’m writing these words.

When I was a child, about 11 or 12, someone said to me, “One day, you’re going to meet a woman who you love more than baseball.”

My response at the time was, “You’re crazy.”

Yes, my obsession with baseball ran so deep, my calendar year started in April, when spring training started, not on Jan. 1.

I lived, breathed, ate, drank, slept baseball. I know, you’ve probably read those words before. But I had a rough childhood; baseball was my salvation. In addition to any familial issues I had, I was also bucktoothed, straight-haired and socially awkward.

But I was good at baseball. Really good. Good enough that it got me respect from the other kids. Baseball was social capital.

Off the field, things were messy. On the field? I was perfect. I was beautiful.

I adored baseball. Before my family got cable in 1984, I used to plan out my week to see when my favorite team - the Yankees - were being broadcast on WPIX out of New York.

More than a few times, I can recall thinking, “Oh man, Thursday’s going to stink. They aren’t on.”

On those nights, I’d find a working radio in the house and park myself in front of it, tolerating Phil Rizzuto’s endless stream of shout-out happy birthdays.

Now the professional game is unwatchable. It’s at least a three-hour slog just to get through your average game these days, and an even longer commitment is required if it’s Yankees (my favorite team) v. Red Sox.

I’m a full-fledged convert of another sport that I never thought I’d enjoy - soccer. I love it. First, footie players are amazing athletes. Best in the world (sorry NBA).

Second, the intrigue that’s generated in the subplots is irresistible. There’s always something driving a match, whether it’s a side fighting for top of the table supremacy, struggling mightily to stay out of the relegation zone, or battling a fierce rival in a local derby.

Third, and this is important, you as a spectator are done in a tidy two hours. There are two 45-minute halves and a 15 minute intermission, plus whatever stoppage time is tacked on to the end of either half. Oh man, just one match and you can get on with your day.

Me? I’m a huge fan of Chelsea (Celery! Celery!) in the English Premier League, which begins play for the 2012-13 season Aug. 18.

I love watching footie so much, my calendar has re-set. My sports year now starts in mid-August. Baseball, while I still adore it (you never forget your first love), has taken a back seat.

Turns out that person from my childhood was right. I did wind up meeting a woman whom I love more than baseball … and any other sport, or any other thing, for that matter.

Go figure.

Here’s your Daily 5:

1. Willow Brook Golf Course offers a 9-hole golf league this afternoon to golfers of all skill levels.

2.  The South Windsor Chamber of Commerce 22nd Annual golf tournament is today at Topstone Golf Course. Registration is 9 a.m. and tee-off is 10 a.m.

3. Drop in the from 10 a.m. to noon to join the quilters upstairs at the library.

4. The Foundation Summer Concert series continues tonight at 7 p.m. with the South Windsor Community Band.

5. There’s a family drum circle and ice cream social tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Charles N. Enes Community Center.

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