Baseball dreams: One fan's ultimate wish list
This writer is waiting for playoffs, a Cubs parade, a Beat the Streak winner
Here on a hot day in August, I am just waiting for October.
But that's not all. Here's what else this baseball fan is waiting for:
I am waiting for a Cubs parade. Ten years ago this fall, I sat in the Wrigley Field press box and had a perfect angle to watch a ball curl foul just into the seats along the left-field line. I tried to understand what my eyes were telling me, as history unfolded in that fateful Game 6 of the National League Championship Series against the Marlins -- the eventual World Series victors -- but I could not really comprehend it.
I am waiting for "a pleasant good evening" from Vin Scully.
I am waiting for my next chance to look out at the San Francisco Bay from the View Level beyond left field at the Giants' AT&T Park, easily the best scenery in Major League Baseball.
I am waiting for someone like Atlanta cop William Bryan to finally take this $5.6 million off our hands here at MLB.com by winning Beat the Streak presented by Dunkin' Donuts. I'm not the one paying for it, I hope. After running this contest for years, someone could win the grand prize next week.
I am waiting for Billy Beane's team to win the last game of a season. I was talking about this with Michael Cuddyer on Thursday. I asked him what he remembered about being a rookie on the Twins team that ended the A's 2002 season -- as portrayed in "Moneyball" -- and he said: "I remember their 18th win in that 20-game streak. That game was in Oakland. I hit a homer in the top of the ninth to give us a 5-4 lead, and I was going to be the guy who ended the A's streak. Then Miguel Tejada hits the three-run walk-off shot."
I am waiting to catch a home run ball.
I am waiting for Ichiro's 4,000th hit between the American and Japanese leagues. I want to watch him pass Pete Rose for most hits ever. Some people forget that when Hank Aaron was in his record-breaking glory, Sadaharu Oh got plenty of attention for hitting the most home runs of any player on the planet.
I am waiting for Derek Jeter's Hall of Fame induction. I saw Cooperstown get taken over by record-smashing crowds for the 2007 weekend in which Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn were enshrined. I believe that will be doubled the day No. 2 is inducted. Mariano Rivera will draw big, but Jeter is Jeter.
I am certainly waiting for real toys in Cracker Jack boxes again, and more peanuts, too, while we're at it.
I am waiting for the Pirates to have a winning season. That should officially happen sometime this month, and once the formality is over, the question will become whether they can win the National League Central or they risk a one-and-done postseason as a Wild Card contender.
I am waiting for Andrew McCutchen to just go for it at the barber -- after he wins the NL Most Valuable Player Award, anyway. I there when Cutch visited a popular Greenwich Village salon for an MLB Fan Cave video shoot, and a barber from St. Lucia named Speedy trimmed his hair and told him how he had finally decided to shave off his own dreadlocks.
"One day. I mean, one day I'm going to have to shave 'em. I'm not going to have my hair forever, I'm sure," McCutchen said, and I'm waiting for him to give the go-ahead and potentially raise a significant amount of money for a good cause.
I am always waiting for Matt Harvey's next start.
I am waiting for my fellow Hall of Fame voters in the Baseball Writers' Association of America to gain some perspective, especially considering the record class next summer. It was absurd that no eligible players were inducted last month, and more big names got pushed back onto what will be an overflowing ballot this December. Craig Biggio is in the 3,000-hit club, played his whole career with Houston and led the way for player philanthropy with The Sunshine Kids, and he should have been a lock.
Speaking of Houston, I'm waiting for someone to make good use of the Astrodome. It changed the game.
I'm waiting for another .400 hitter. Bats have outpaced baseballs (still just round) in terms of technological development since Ted Williams batted .406 in 1941. Tony Gwynn came so close in 1994 with .394, and we should have appreciated it more.
I'm waiting for the chance to take grandchildren to games one day and tell them how it was in the old days, when you took a transistor radio with you camping and listened intently for the next pitch. I'll tell them about the way it felt when you walked into Riverfront Stadium for the first time and saw that huge green carpet, how fast Rickey Henderson got to second and how clutch Willie "Pops" Stargell was.
I'm waiting for a medical breakthrough that makes Tommy John surgery unnecessary.
I am still waiting for my first trips to Safeco Field, Petco Park, Target Field, Miller Park, Marlins Park and Nationals Park -- 24 down, six to go. I am kind of envious of those fans who just pack up and drive around the continent to check stadiums off their lists.
And I am waiting for something uplifting and exciting to happen in Detroit, like a World Series championship.
What are you waiting for?