In November of 2000, as my family moved into yet another house, I was forced to ask myself a crucial question: Where is my home?
The first ten years of my life were filled with confusion and disorientation. The identities I had built up for myself were spun away along with the rotation of landscapes that served as my hometowns. I went from a young, upstate New Yorker; to a sensitive Central Ohioan, a brashly comic grade schooler from South Jersey and a quietly austere child in North New Jersey. I struggled to make connections with my peers. They were as fleeting as the sand on the shores in which I grew up.
And now here I was again, a new soul in a new place, ready to adopt yet another new identity. I was waiting for the ground to crumble beneath my feet. But this home never shook, and this home never fell. I found the perfect foundation for my life on the summer fields where fathers teach their sons memories of a simpler time, where boys become men, where there are always refreshments after the game.
Baseball seemed more familiar to me than all the homes I had ever lived in and all the friends I had ever made. The dawn of summer was glorious rebirth; the smell of fresh cut grass, a gift. I played on great teams and teams that struggled to win a game, yet every second was more intoxicating than the last! The Cleveland Indians dominated every aspect of my world. The glory days had supposedly passed, yet you would never know it if you lived in my world. My room was a red, white and blue tabernacle, with the walls adorned with paintings, pictures and portraits of players named Vizquel and Thome. I watched every game on television and fell hopelessly in love with every new player that kicked dirt off his cleats, stepped into the box and into a city’s history.
If my disillusions about home can prove one thing, it is that we all know so little for sure. The future may be bright, but it is blindingly so and there are so many possibilities. I count myself blessed to have a clear vision of my future. I live my life for baseball and I live my life to write and wrap others in my words. I understand that my home can be found in the game I love, the things I say and the passion I hold. I will be leaving the final, tangible home of my childhood to face this future in the fall to study Magazine Journalism at the E.W Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. I would like to be Tribe Reporter for the Day to further craft my journalistic skill, to honor this home, and this team that have given me so much and to prepare myself to find a new home in my future.
Get pumped, Cleveland!