Ryczek: My first game, Yankees-Tigers in 1962

From SABR member Bill Ryczek at The National Pastime Museum on September 22, 2014:

I’m not sure how I became a baseball fan. My mother knew nothing about the game, and my father was only mildly interested. But somehow, during the spring of 1962, I found out about baseball and by summer, it was the consuming passion of my life.

In 1962, if you didn’t go to the ballpark, you could read about baseball in the newspaper, listen to it on the radio, or watch it on television. Today, baseball transmitted by large HD color images is so vivid and realistic that it is almost better than being there in person. Fifty years ago, however, television images were mostly small, black and white, and for us residents of central Connecticut trying to watch the Yankees or Mets on New York stations, almost Fellini-esque. If the night air wasn’t blowing in the right direction, the images were fuzzy, and moving figures appeared to leave a vapor trail behind them. On a bad night, it was hard to tell Casey Stengel from Willie Mays. Most annoying of all, a weak signal wasn’t strong enough to take hold, and we fiddled constantly with the vertical hold knob trying to get the picture to stay still. To do so successfully required the delicate touch of a safecracker.

Seeing a 1962 game in person was nothing like watching one on television, and during my first summer of fandom, I had a dream of going to a Major League game, but I didn’t think it would happen, for we rarely ventured far from home. On the evening of August 11, I was ecstatic to learn that I, my father, my Uncle John, and my 11-year-old cousin, Cathy, were going to New York to watch the Yankees play the Tigers the next afternoon.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/my-first-game-yankees-v-tigers

Originally published: September 22, 2014. Last Updated: September 22, 2014.