There are so many things in life that you don’t expect that you will ever get to experience because you have no idea they exist. I knew the World Baseball Classic existed, and I wanted to go SO badly. What I encountered was something beyond any fandom I had ever seen before and it was beautiful. There’s nothing more impressive than seeing fans cheer, throw their hands in the air while they scream with excitement, wave their country’s flag around proudly, or dress in clothing symbolic to their culture. The World Baseball Classic offered ALL of that.
Taylor and I were lucky enough to attend the very first game between Mexico and USA at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ last Friday. When we got to the field, all we could see was a massive sea of green, people wearing luchadore masks, fans wearing flags that were fashioned like capes, and decorative sombreros. I know that my eyes widened as I took in the experience because I have never seen anything like it. I quickly pulled out my camera and started taking videos and photos–I wanted to make sure this would be something that I would never forget–and that I could share with all of my friends.
Once we actually got into the stadium, there was Mexican-style music playing with different dance groups spread throughout the corridors entertaining the spectators. The outfits looked to be very traditional–according to anything that I have ever seen on television. I felt like I unknowingly immersed myself into the Mexican culture and it was exciting. I have never had the pleasure of visiting Mexico so for me, this is as close as I have gotten to experiencing something that seemed so authentic.
The energy stuffed in the retractable roof-covered field felt explosive. Shortly after we found our seats we heard them start to announce the reserves for USA. As I was walking down the stairs they announced Ben Zobrist. As a Rays fan, there was nothing cooler! I screamed, “LET’S GO BEN!” The crowd turned around and looked at me like I was crazy–because I had not realized that Taylor and I had stepped right into a section that was heavily populated with Team Mexico fans. We continued to cheer for our country as they announced each player. They played the National Anthem for both countries and I had goosebumps running up and down my skin. I was so stoked!
I won’t rehash the outcome of the game since I feel like the entire world already knows; it is the World Baseball Classic. I will say that I have never felt more proud to wear my red, white and blue anywhere. I’m a spirited supporter or Team USA… and win or lose, I know it won’t change my appreciation for the game or for the sport of baseball. It is a once in a lifetime experience and I highly suggest that if you are able to attend that you do so.
No matter which country you cheer for, wear your colors proudly. Scream so loud that you lose your voice. Love the sport for what it is.
Watch the video I uploaded to Vine here: http://vine.co/v/bwAKDHU2nWp