I realize that for most people reading this blog Alabama football is their main passion, and, rightfully so. But I want to entice you to become a fan of not just the most dominating football team in the land but also a fan of Alabama Gymnastics, Alabama Soccer, Alabama Softball, Alabama Cross Country, Alabama Golf, Alabama Basketball, Alabama Baseball, etc. etc. In short I want you to be a fan of all things Alabama and all aspects of the University of Alabama.
Now I must admit I’m probably a good deal older (60) than most of you and the truth is when I was in high school I was purely a fan of Alabama Football. In fact I didn’t even know Alabama had a baseball team as a kid growing up. Even when I learned we had a team, I knew practically nothing about our the team until we lost to Texas in the CWS in 1983. But, after that exciting run in 83, when we made it to the finals, I was hooked on Alabama Baseball. So, hopefully, if you are not a fan of all things Alabama you will become one. And, hopefully, if you have never followed Alabama Baseball maybe this year you will start. Below, I’m going to give you the main reasons why I think you should follow Alabama Baseball.
First and foremost this baseball team is representing the University of Alabama. At Alabama we have a “brand.” This brand is the way the general public sees us. If the only team that does well is the football team then we are perceived to be just a football school. We become what Kentucky is in basketball or Tennessee is in women’s basketball.
If we only win in football, football then begins to define our school and our athletic department. And then, when some bozos get arrested and they happen to be football players, our athletic department looks like a bunch of thugs. Trust me, as good as we have been in football, we do not want to be defined by just football. We want to be known as the University of Alabama “Home of Champions.” We don’t want to win one NC a year we want to win 6 or 8 different NCs every year.
Secondly, is the whole rivalry thing. If we were playing Tennessee in tiddly winks I’d want to beat them so bad it makes them quit winking their tiddles. In baseball we play the same rivals we do in football. And, we need to beat them just as much in baseball as football.
I know we remember football longer. But, it always feels good to beat Auburn. I think our gymnastic streak of beating Auburn 106 times in row is fantastic and something to brag about especially to the Aubies. Furthermore, I was very proud of our baseball team last year, when in spite of a terrible season, they swept a ranked Auburn team for the first time in 10 years. Our guys know what it is all about.
Third, baseball is a major sport. On the men’s side of the ledger, baseball is the 3rd most attended sport behind football and basketball. Now, baseball will never be close to football in attendance at Alabama. But, when 4 or 5 thousand come outdoors to watch a sporting event that is still a big crowd. I played soccer in college (at another school) and I think the biggest crowd I ever played before was probably around 800. And, since unlike basketball, baseball does not over lap football, I think it is very easy to support this sport.
Fourth, baseball coverage is available. There are 30 radio stations that carry Bama Baseball in state. Now I know you may not like to listen to sports on the radio like I do. But, Chris Stewart is one of the best sports broadcasters you will ever hear and he calls Bama Baseball. If you live out of Alabama (as I do) you should be able to find one of the stations on the internet for free. You can also go to rolltide.com and get the pay deal through CBS Sports. It is just a few bucks a month and it gives you all sorts of live Bama sports including all baseball games.
Fifth, these guys need and deserve your support. Unlike football players and basketball players, baseball players often toil in anonymity. Yet, they practice as much or more than any sport. If you have ever played an obscure sport in high school or college you know how much it meant to you when even one fan said, “Hey I saw your game on Saturday.” Believe me, the baseball guys appreciate every fan as much or more as the football guys.
Sixth, you can see future major leaguers. Most of these guys will not play pro ball, but some will. It is always cool to say stuff like “Oh yeah, I watched Alex Avila when he was at Bama, one time against Auburn he...”
Seventh, we have real tradition. Alabama is tied for number 2 all time in SEC Tournament Titles. We hold an all time winning record against all SEC schools except Arky & SC (I’m also not counting the new comers- aTm and Mizzou). And with the two schools we are behind we are relatively close just being 1 game behind Arky and 7 behind South Carolina. Bottom line is that traditionally Alabama is one of the top two or three baseball schools in the SEC.
Finally, it is Alabama people They wear...guess what...Crimson. To be honest there is just something about seeing a team wearing Crimson and seeing the words Alabama, Crimson Tide, Bama, etc., on their uniform. When I see that I really can not help myself. I have to watch and cheer.
So there you go, more than enough reasons to start following Bama Baseball. And, I am excited this year that RBR is giving you some real baseball coverage. We are off to a great start 4-0 and we just beat a ranked S. Miss team. I hope at the very least you will read the RBR coverage this year and become a fan of Alabama Baseball in 2013.