Count: 430 words
Summary: This book isn't a love story in the traditional sense.
Notes: Thanks to slodwick for the beta.
Prologue (Thirty-Eight Maps)
by Celli Lane
We hope it's a reflection on society and not the quality of our show that when you think of "Sports Night," you probably don't think about the stories we broke or the hard work we put into every show. Instead, you're more likely to think of tabloid headlines and Entertainment Tonight special reports. (If you haven't heard of it, type "Casey McCall kissing Dan Rydell" into any search engine on the Internet, and you'll be brought up to speed immediately. Also, we'd like to know if your desert island has any vacancies.)
It wasn't Casey's idea to go on this tour, and it wasn't Dan's either. The idea was the brainchild of a young man named Charlie McCall.
"Aren't you retired, kind of?" he asked us not long after our last show. "And isn't this what every old guy wants to do when he retires?"
We weren't (that) old, but we were retired, in a de facto sense. And, honestly, getting out of town--and out of our own heads--seemed like a wise course of action. So we loaded down a secondhand Jeep with suitcases, junk food, and thirty-eight maps, and we were off.
This book isn't a love story in the traditional sense. That part had already happened before we drove out of New York. But a trip like this gives you the opportunity to fall in love over and over again: the beauty of an open road, the crack-crack-crack of batting practice, the sheer bliss that is a game-day hot dog, the joy of a well-reasoned argument between rival fans (or at least the educational benefits of learning new insults from them).
We'll introduce you to some of the people we met along our journey. Some are ballplayers, but only a few; most you've never heard of. Most we'd never heard of until we met them in line at the concession stand or in the bleachers. A lot of them had heard about us, and we garnered our share of sidelong looks and overheard comments, but the average baseball fan couldn't have cared less about the two of us and where we came from, as long as we had a solid opinion on the pennant race. (And we did. Oh, we did indeed.)
So let's get started: it's time for a night game at Wrigley Field, and a rather shocking surprise for the St. Louis Cardinals.
You're reading Take Me Out to the Ballgame: A Journey Through an American Season. We're glad to have you along.
Casey McCall & Dan Rydell
New York City
October 30, 2004