Now that the Diamondbacks have finally won a game, this would seem to be as good an opportunity as any to look at some of the things that made a simple English boy like myself fall in love with the game of baseball so, in no particular order;
No Segregation of Fans– my first love is soccer so it was a genuine culture shock to see fans of two opposing teams sitting in the same area, even more of a shock was seeing somebody in a Cardinals uniform at a D-Backs/Padres game. There are neutrals in soccer but they have to pretend not to be, the simple rule is that you feign to support the team of the people that you are sat with, it’s like a crash course in method acting.
The Fielding– people who don’t understand the game tell me that the fielders all have "big gloves" so catching the ball is easy. I would like to be able to tell them how wonderful it was to see Steve Finley play in center field compared to the average cricket fielder who flails around like Stan Laurel in a brewery.
The Stats– these are really not an important part of European sport, but I have learned to love the transcendental joy of studying a hitters batting average when facing left-handers in day games.
Base Running– a stolen base, or a hit and run, is so much more exciting in person than on TV, you genuinely have to be there.
World Series 2001– I was working a night shift and disagreeing with every decision Bob Brenly made until Gonzo got his famous hit. Best night shift ever.
The Swimming Pool– You probably all hate it, but when people in England ask me what the Diamondbacks stadium is like I can nonchalantly tell them that is has a pool,and it’s air-conditioned!
A Pitching Duel– I now consider myself a "purist" and therefore despise the pyrotechnics of a slug fest.
Finally Getting the Joke-I now fully understand Woody Allen’s routine about thinking of baseball players during sex ("I don’t know whether to squeeze or steal").