As fans of music, books, movies, TV and sports we have people we love and admire. We follow them in the papers and magazines, watch them on TV and now with social media taking over everything, you can “stalk” them on Twitter. FB, Tumblr or whatever else tickles your fancy. And that’s if they have one!
What about back in the nineties, when the only way you could find out about your faves was TV and the papers as well as rag tag mags? The internet was still in its beginning stages and all I could really do was read, which in my opinion was much more enjoyable.
Back then, I was much more of a sports fan! I watched TV mostly to tune into sports, baseball, basketball, and football. I even kept stats, collected baseball cards, clipped magazine and newspaper articles, and bought jerseys of my favorite players.
In those days, I didn’t follow anyone in sports because I had a crush. I loved the way they played the game, but then a certain player, a third baseman who wore number 23 came along and all of it went downhill.
Yeah, my first baseball crush! The only one over all the years I’ve watched baseball. No one compares to Robin Ventura.
I won’t go into his career, you can find out more here if you’re curious http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Ventura.
As a informed baseball observer, I’d say he was one of those players that will be remembered for a few things, one I’m sure if he had to do all over again, he’d like to take back, but that didn’t deter my love for him at all. It only made me respect him more and told me just how unpredictable he really was.
Robin’s slender frame and boyish good looks made me smile. As a player, he was better than average, with a high batting percentage, a great glove and well, the way he played the game honorably. He wasn't a dickhead like some of them were and everyone who’s had an opinion about him said what a nice guy he really was.
His major league career spanned 15 years, 4 teams: The White Sox, Mets, Dodgers, and the hated Yankees which broke my heart but hey, what can you do? One of his best moments was with the Mets where he hit a grand slam single in the 1999 ALCS. Ventura was one of the leaders in grand slams for the Sox as well as in the baseball record books.
I followed him through all teams, reading box scores, articles, just about anything I could find. I wore my jersey to Sox games when he played and when I met him back in 1993, he signed my baseball.
*giggles like a schoolgirl*
I was too nervous to take a picture with him, but I did take some very bad pics.
I know I’m dating both of us here, but back then 110 cameras were the thing and er… well, that pic is in my photo album.
Ahem! Let’s move to now shall we?
I’m married and so is he. According to my stalker senses, he's been married for almost 20-30 years to the same lucky gal and has 3 kids. As far as his career, he’s been a commentator for ESPN, mostly for the College World Series then something happened like three years ago that shocked the hell out of me. Robin was named as White Sox manager to replace Ozzie Guillen.
My baseball crush managing?
Imagine my surprise at this move, but without going through the boring details, I couldn’t be happier. Now, I get to see my favorite player, manage my favorite baseball team and well, he’s even wearing the same number.
Ventura is one of the youngest managers in the game. Many have questioned this move especially since he is in no way shape or form a fiery guy. He’s very quiet and unassuming, but maybe that’s what’s appealing about him. It’s only part of the reason I adore the guy.
So, to conclude, I get to watch my first baseball crush! Nah, he isn’t running around the bases anymore so I could see that cute little butt move in tight pants, but I do get to see him come out when there’s a pitching change. And when the camera looks at him in the dugout, chewing gum, I swoon. Omigod, my first baseball crush and the only one as far as I’m concerned. Hands down, he’s the most handsome man in the game!
Now that you know mine, tell me about any sports crushes you have?
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Robin, the player, is my muse for Jake Valenta in Michael Mandrake's story Reconnection
Robert McIntyre is a closeted, average looking sports columnist for the Daily Read. Unfortunately, his desire to stay in has cost him the chance at love more than once. However, now it seems his luck will change since his editor has asked him to interview, Jake Valenta. Jake and Robert knew one another in college and when he heard from a mutual friend that Jake might be bisexual, Robert didn’t believe him.
Before Robert’s trip, they discover a mutual affection for one another. Jake shares his desire to stay behind closed doors because he can’t stand being called a fag, but desperately wants Robert to be his man.
Robert and Jake want a chance to reconnect on a more personal level, but will this budding relationship ruin their careers?
Later on that evening, Jake and I finished our meal and we returned to the couch with wine and beers in hand. Jake is a masterful griller, cooking steaks with side salads and corn on the cob. It had been a while since I had such a filling and well cooked dinner. Most of the time in Chicago, my nights were Chinese takeout or fast food burgers.
“Ah, now this is nice. You and me, on the sofa, drinking liquor with sports on the TV. Can’t get any better than this.” Jake popped the cap on his beer open.
“Yeah, well, the NBA isn’t one of my favorite sports, but I guess it will have to do. It’s either that or hockey.” I cracked open the Merlot and poured myself a glass.
“You’re not into either one?
“Nope. Baseball’s my first love. Football is second for me. I love college and pro.”
“See I hate college football. I think it stems from our alma mater’s pigskin team getting more recognition than we did.”
“Yeah, and they got all the funding too,” I added with a laugh. “The NCAA knows college football can command more money than baseball, so they give them more attention.”
“And they didn’t even deserve it. They went 7-4 last year, for fucking last in the conference. We went to the playoffs and beat the number one seeded team.”
“But no one likes college baseball.”
Jake waved his hand and took another swig of beer. “Ah, whatever. I’m gone anyways, but it still sticks in my craw how they considered as unimportant.”
“You weren’t irrelevant, just the team. What happened when you got to single A, by the way? You weren’t seeing the ball, or…”
“I thought we were forgetting about the interview, Rob. Let’s save that for when we talk on the record.”
“I am. I’m just curious, that’s all.”
“I haven’t got a clue, Rob. I just wasn’t picking up the pitches like I should’ve.”
“Hm, well I’m glad everything’s going well now. The general manager was wondering if he’d made the right choice with the pick. I knew you’d get it together sooner or later.”
“You had faith in me?” Jake caressed my leg through my jeans and flashed me a wry grin.
Feeling his hands on me again caused the adrenaline to rush through my veins. I desired nothing more than to attack him on this couch and forget all about the game on television. “I’ve always had faith in you.”
About the Muse and Author
Michael Mandrake pens complex characters already comfortable with their sexuality. Thorough these, he builds worlds not centered on erotica but rather the mainstream plots we might encounter in everyday life through personal experiences or the media.
To find out more please visit Michael Mandrake at Wordpress
Author Sharita Lira: In one word, crazy. Just crazy enough to have
3 4 different muses running around in her head,
driving her to sheer exhaustion with new plot bunnies and complex characters.
In addition to being a computer geek and a metalhead, Sharita loves live music, reading, and perusing the net for sexy men to be her muses. She’s also a founding member and contributor to the heavy metal ezine Fourteeng.net.
For more information, please visit http://www.thelitriad.com as well as her Facebook fanpage, The Literary Triad.
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3 ebook copies of Reconnection and a $5GC from Amazon