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The Fan vs. The Writer
February 4, 2010 - Zach Baker
About a week ago I received a call from someone wondering if I wanted to attend a Cincinnati Reds media function in Findlay. The event was to be held that Saturday.
Attending the event would be current-second baseman Brandon Phillips and Hall of Fame announcer Marty Brennaman.
But the name that intrigued me the most was outfielder Glenn Braggs, a big part of the team's last world championship, in 1990.
As anyone who reads my columns and my blogs know, my immediate loyalties are to Cleveland teams. I grew up in that area and am a big Indians, Browns and Cavaliers fan.
But my father was born in the Dayton area, and my aunt still lives there. My dad (as I've mentioned in other posts) saw the legendary Big Red Machine, and my aunt took me to Reds games when I visited her in the summer as a child.
As a result, I became a Reds fan. It wasn't like I was crossing loyalties, since the Reds and Indians are in different leagues. That meant they never even played prior to interleague play, which was introduced in 1997.
As for the function, I really wanted to go, but I started thinking like a writer. I had a Heidelberg game at 3 p.m. I wasn't going to get to sleep before at least 3 a.m. Friday night.
The event started at noon. That meant 25 minutes of driving each way for something that might not even make the paper.
So I passed on the event, confident I'd be saving myself some work on an already-busy day.
But the 10-year old inside of me was irate.
"This is GLENN BRAGGS!," he said. "The one that made the game-saving catch in Game 6 of the 1990 NLCS! The one that drove in the tying run in games 2 and 4 of the World Series!"
"The guy that was so strong he once swung and missed and broke his bat."
The truth is, the fan in me, the kid who immersed himself in Reds history and statistics, would never have missed a chance to interview the former outfielder. Or Phillips. Or Brennaman.
In reality, it was a mistake not to go. Fellow writer John Montgomery went, and he interviewed Braggs (I gave him some pointers, since he's a Cubs fan).
No matter how professional a writer tries to be, no matter how responsible they think they are, every once in a while, the fan inside them should be thrown a bone.
If nothing else, it would have been a story to impress my father and aunt with.