By Anthony Solorzano II
In college, my baseball obsession reached its peak. I became a full-blown Dodgers fan. At the time, I worked at a conference center. After long days of coursework and theater-related rehearsals, I spent most of my days working evenings setting up tables, vacuuming rooms and driving people to the airport. There was no time to sit down and enjoy a Dodgers game.
During my time at the Kellogg West Conference Center, I discovered the beauty of listening to a game on the radio. As a broke college student working a part-time job, I couldn’t afford MLB TV. Instead, I purchased the audio component of the app. It cost $20 for the entire season, allowing me to listen to any game in the league during both the regular season and the playoffs.
Most of my shifts consisted of solo projects, which allowed me the opportunity to plug my ears into the voice of Vin Scully. He quickly became my favorite coworker.
Scully’s hypnotic voice became the soundtrack of my college experience. His stories solidified my infatuation with storytelling. His game calling also helped me realize that I had become a reflection of my dad.
I dreaded riding in a car with my dad. His obsession with sports talk radio turned every car ride into the center of boredom. I spent my childhood being denied by him with a simple, “No! Stop asking,” any time I would ask to change the station.
My dad loves soccer. His passion for the sport has driven him to immerse himself in every aspect of it. He spends his precious few hours away from work watching soccer games. His weekends are filled with matches from all around the world, starting from the crack of dawn until sunset.
Sometimes, I can’t help but think he resents me for falling in love with baseball instead of soccer. However, deep down, I am sure he is proud of the loyalty I show the Dodgers and the game of baseball. My unwavering dedication to the sport is a trait I attribute to my dad.
When he’s not watching soccer, he is listening to talking heads on the radio and on TV argue their hot takes. He has evolved his fandom and moved over to YouTube, where he watches up-and-coming players from his favorite team talk about their process.
My level of consumption has reached the heights as my dad's religious discipline.
Managing a fantasy baseball team makes me feel like I am coaching a team, similar to the years when my dad coached a soccer team. The amount of research and attention I dedicate to my team on a yearly basis is a direct result of the years I spent watching my dad manage his players from the sidelines.
When I am not watching a game, I’m listening to it. If I’m not listening to a game, I indulge in watching Mookie Betts’ video blog. And when I’m not watching the player's video blog, I find myself listening to Chris Rose and Trevor Plouffe as they discuss the major headlines of the day from around the league.
I may not have kids telling me to change the car radio station, but my wife experiences the excruciating pain I once felt whenever she accompanies me in the car.
Throughout my journey of becoming my dad, I have learned numerous valuable lessons. Among them, none is more significant than loyalty. This trait has become deeply ingrained in every aspect of my life, and for that, I am incredibly grateful.
Thank you, dad.
Anthony Solorzano II likes to write about baseball and soccer. Find his writing and blogs at The Squib Substacks