Being a transplant to the US, one of the things that has surprised me is how quickly I have taken to following US sports. As a long time cricket fan, baseball has immediately caught my attention, in no small part due to the similarities between the two sports. The more measured pace of the games compared to most other field sports, the fact they are played in summer (by extension allowing sitting outside in the sun with a beer in hand while watching), and the focus on statistics, provide a very familiar flavor to both sports. A little known fact is that much of the statistics that drive baseball were developed by a Brit by the name of Henry Chadwick in the 19th Centruty.
But I digress. The thing I have come to realize while watching sports that are foreign to me such as baseball, american football and ice hockey, is that there is another element beyond the actual mechanics of the sport that makes it compelling; the human element. The first part of this relates to the players themselves. I was incredibly lucky that in my second year of being a baseball fan, my home team the San Francisco Giants won the World Series, despite being an un-fancied team that were never rated much chance of doing well. The Giants, due to a run of bad injuries and form, did not figure in the 2011 post season, which I thought would be the end of my interest in baseball for the year.