I am not really a sports fan. I've gone through stages where I was nuts about college basketball (and correctly picked 3 of the final 4 at the beginning of the season) and for most of my life I was an avid baseball fan, specifically, an Orioles fan. I knew the lineups, I had crushes on the players (I would have married Brady Anderson), I cried when Cal Ripken broke the consecutive game record, and when he retired. I saw some games in Memorial Stadium, and a few in Camden Yards. I loved the O's.
I almost lost my interest in baseball entirely after the big strike and the league changes. I stopped keeping up with the O's and stopped watching baseball altogether. I suppose I took for granted that, should I ever want to watch the O's again, I would be able to find a game on ESPN.
The thing is, there is no baseball in Greece. I don't think there is any baseball in Europe really. And of 5 or 6 sports channels we get, not one shows any baseball ever. You can watch myriad other sports, from curling to bowling to pool, but no baseball. And after 3 years without baseball, I'm starting to miss it. I miss the sound of the convergence between bat and ball. I miss the edge of your seat moments when bases are loaded and a good hitter is up at bat. I even miss the long, boring games where you think noone is ever going to score and it will go on forever.
I've had to rely on soccer (ie. football here in Europe) to titillate my sporting senses. Last year was a good one, an exciting few games where Greece won the European Cup. But this year, Greece is quickly blowing its chances to even qualify for the World Cup, which is highly disappointing. Still, soccer has its exciting moments, and is perhaps more fast paced than baseball, but in the end, it ain't no baseball.
Maybe someday I can find a satellite service here that has a channel or two that shows American baseball. I'm sure a visit to the U.S. will end up in a trip to Camden Yards. But for now all I can do is savor the memories of baseball in my head, where every hit is a grand slam.