I have a widescreen TV with several HD options. I have a satellite radio which brings things in ‘crystal clear’ although the days of using crystals in radios is long past. And yet… my favorite way to follow baseball games is at night, in bed, with an AM radio complete with static. My wife thinks I am crazy.
Many, many years ago I went to elementary school in California and I was devoted to the Dodgers. There was no cable TV then, nor were there mega-packages on the local TV that covered every game. We used ‘transistor’ radios which were the ultimate in cool to have hanging out of your pocket. They still played day games, and double-headers then, and every group of neighborhood boys had at least one radio at hand. If we were very good our teachers might let us listen to the World Series when they still played day games.
We followed the local team then, we had no choice, and loyalties were fierce. At night, we all knew how to listen with the volume just right, and with the antenna adjusted just so, to keep our moms from catching us.
Inevitably with AM, the signal might fade in or out randomly, or a distant storm might cause a little static. These little moments of being out of touch were just added drama. They were little segues in the story. What happened? Did he get a hit or strike out? Some of the most magical moments of my childhood came with a radio and the voice of Vin Scully.
I grew older and lost contact with the local team when I moved to Nebraska where football is king and there were no stations carrying baseball. Finally, much later in life, everything came together, cable TV, satellite radio, and the addition of a team into my local market. Following my beloved baseball is easier than ever.
And yet, nothing is still better than listening to the boys of summer on a static-filled AM station in bed, perhaps with the sound of crickets outside if it hasn’t been too hot, and the windows are open. If my wife is right, and she usually is, about this being ‘crazy’, there are worse kinds of insanity.