Will Your Loyalty Change When Triple-A Baseball Arrives?
When did you become a baseball fan? What's your earliest memory? Why is your team your team? Could that change based on the relocation of another? Come 2014, El Pasoans may shift their loyalty in the major leagues as Triple-A makes its debut.
My grandpa was born in 1917. He loved the Los Angeles Dodgers. He left almost 30 grandchildren behind. He went to the extreme to say, "No child of mine, no child of theirs and no child of theirs, will ever be a Yankees fan!"
Not asking for much. Most of us stayed loyal to the Dodgers. While I may not rep the Dodger Blue, I had a change of heart during my time in Dallas when I was working closely with the Texas Rangers. Back-to-back World Series appearances didn't hurt either. I still fear the beard and I don't think I'll ever be able to simultaneously stare at at two major stadiums during a World Series and NFL game while getting beat by the same city. St. Louis wanted it all that day.
So what's your story? Who influenced you? A family member, a standout player or the city you grew up or lived in? How deep does your dedication run? How easily can it change?
Perhaps it was the relocation of the Dodgers from Brooklyn in 1958 to a city geographically closer to El Paso that got my grandpa's attention. There was only 16 teams in the MLB during that time...the closest one to my grandpa's house -- the Dodgers.
He stayed a fan. Even in the early '60s the El Paso Sun Kings affiliation with the San Francisco Giants or California Angels didn't change my grandpa's mind, but I'm sure his loyalty to the Dodgers was solidified in '74 when the Sun Kings became their affiliate.
But some fans are more adamant than others and won't budge. When the Diablos once held ties to the Brewers and Diamondbacks, I'm sure had its affect on this town. My brother rocks a Braves hat. He watched Gary Sheffield growing up at Dudley Field. While that wasn't Sheffield's first team in the MLB -- from a Brewer to a Brave it had my brother hooked. Perhaps Randy Johnson pulled you into the major leagues with him.
I wouldn't be surprised if in a couple years this city changes jerseys and El Paso loses some blue. You may take your kid out to the the downtown ballpark one day, and they'll remind you later on in life you're the reason why...