We gave ourselves an assignment– write a joint blog about baseball– a sport that we both love and a sport that inspired our company name! So, we decided that in less than 500 words each, we would try and explain the significance that the sport has brought to us as individuals. That’s right, we decided instead of collaborating out the gate as per our usual blog writing process that we’d write separately and not read what the other wrote until we were done.
If you’re on a team, if you work with your spouse, if you want to find a unique way to highlight your strengths– we recommend this exercise!
The result for us? A blog that lets the true individual spirits of The Dreamer and The Designer shine through.
We hope you enjoy and learn a little bit more about your Dreamer and your Designer.
Cheers! — The Pennant Team
I’ll never forget the end of July 2015. Mainly because it was the first time I cried about?? Baseball. Yes, I know. “There is no crying in baseball”, Tom Hanks. But, we all know the truth! Or at least baseball fans do…
My fandom started in an a-typical way. You see, I grew up not paying the great American past-time too much mind thinking that it looked pretty boring. However, there came a day in my 20’s where I decided I’d give baseball a chance. So, I decided to read a book about baseball. That book also happened to be about one of the greatest, coolest, most awesome teams in the US– The NY Mets. As I read, I began to realize that baseball was as much about the people as it was the game. Now, through the years that I’ve cheered on my NY Mets, I’ve begun to realize that baseball is as much about the game as it is about magic. Magic is something I’ll always get behind.
You can’t deny that in any process– especially with teams… a combination of talent, working together, keeping it together in the rough times, and then just a little bit of magic gets everyone to the goal. Baseball lends itself to the perfect team analogy. In baseball and in life, when a Pennant is won… it is no small thing. It’s hard fought, it’s earned not by one person, but by the team who has collective talent and will and, I believe, a little bit of magic.
As the Mets slogan says “Ya Gotta Believe!” And I do…
So, why did I cry in July 2015 about baseball? Thank you, Willmer Flores. A Met at the time (and one of my favorites!) had a rough week– hearing rumors that he was going to get traded from the only team he’s ever known (The Mets) he was seen crying on the field during a game. The rumors were just rumors, but the thought of leaving his team broke his heart. A few games later… Flores at a home game hit his first home run ever… a walk off– the only one of that already amazing 2015 season. Flores’ tears and victory as he crossed home plate into the arms of his teammates tugging the Mets patch on his uniform spoke volumes about his love for his team. For me, a fan–listening to the game on the radio, it solidified the game of baseball as more than a boring sport. I’m here to tell you– there is crying in baseball… mostly happy tears!
My earliest sustained engagement with baseball came through trading cards. I collected them for probably 6 or 7 years, roughly from the time I was 8 years old to maybe 14. There were a few major producers of the cards and they would each produce a few sets each season. The cards had individual monetary value which fluctuated in a free market. Collectors like myself typically bought them in packs of a dozen to build towards a complete set.
These cards even introduced me to the concept of sales tax, as there was one particular card series I loved, so every time I went to the pharmacy with my mom I would ask to get a pack. They retailed for $1.99 so the first time I sought to buy them on my own I was told that the actual price was $2.11 (PA sales tax is 6%). Thereafter I knew to bring two dollar bills, a dime, and a penny to the counter.
As mentioned these were trading cards – and one transaction stands out the most. My best friend at the time had moved from Connecticut and brought with him his love of the New York Yankees. I, naturally, was a lifelong fan of the Philadelphia Phillies. So he and I hatched an idea: let’s round up the cards of players of each team in our collections and swap them: he sent me his Phillies and I sent him my Yankees.
Anyways, the greatest impact these cards had on me were the information they contained and the multitude of ways the cards could be sorted, arranged, and ordered – which was right in the wheelhouse of a burgeoning designer and developer. There was the photo on the front of the card accompanied by the name of the player, their team, position, and maybe a few other small details. Flip the card over and you could find stats that neatly summarized the player’s performance over their career, plus other information such as biographical facts and fun anecdotes if space allowed.
I could sort the cards by team, color of uniform, and player position. Then, I could arrange the cards by geographical location of each team, or by league and division. And within these arrangements I could order the cards by stats – which player had the most to fewest home runs, games played, or teams played for.
Along the way I learned the history of the game, which players were most revered, which teams had the most championships. It is often said that baseball is the most stat-friendly sport – which made complete sense when I first heard that claim.
Also the Mets aren’t that great or cool – just sayin’!