“What sports teams were you a fan of when a child?”
Some people are fair-weather fans, changing based on which teams have good seasons. I am not one of them.
I received a radio for my ninth or tenth birthday. The radio was a six-transistor, small rectangular device that fit perfectly under my pillow.
My two brothers and I shared an attic bedroom in the Beverly Manor house. Unfortunately, it was only large enough for two twin beds and a narrow walkway between them. So it required two of us to share a bed. Since Paul and I were skinny fellows, and my brother Cletus wasn’t, Paul and I shared a bed.
Sharing a bed with Paul, my junior by over five years, meant that bedtime for Paul was Cletus and mine. I accepted this until I neared teenage. So, the rule changed to I could get back up once Paul was asleep if I desired. Many nights I remained in bed long after they settled, with my little radio tuned to a ballgame or a local music station.
My location in mid-state Illinois allowed me to tune to stations from Chicago and St. Louis, Missouri. I listened to the Cubs and Cardinals but was almost religious listening to their games when they played the Dodgers. I don’t remember ever not being a Dodgers fan, first the Brooklyn Dodgers and later Los Angeles Dodgers.
I would turn on the radio and set the volume loud enough to come to my ear against the pillow. My siblings never knew I was listening to my radio. It remained my secret until the radio broke one day.
There is a song speaking of my times then. I “watched” Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, and Johnny Podres pitching great games against the Cubs or Cardinals through my radio. Then there was Maury Wills as leadoff hitter bunting to get on base and often stealing second and sometimes third base. I don’t remember the year, but he set a record for most steals up to then.
My favorite football team has been the Miami Dolphins since the early 1970’s. I may have grown up in Illinois, but none of their teams have been my favorite. Basketball favorite has been the Boston Celtics since Larry Bird played. I can’t name any other professional sports team I consider a favorite.
The Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers is the longest-running favorite professional team, followed by Miami Dolphins, and lastly, the Boston Celtics. But, I have given up following any team for personal reasons.
Would you like to share your favorite teams from your childhood? Please do, on the comment form.