I was never an athletic kid, but I always loved baseball. I grew up just down the road from the Oakland Coliseum at a time when the Athletics pretty well dominated the game and count some of my earliest memories at that ballpark.

Later, I got onto a local tee-ball team, and we got to be the Athletics! The home team! I can still recall the pride I felt at not having to be one of those other kids who had to be on the Brewers or the White Sox or something. I mean, I shudder to think. I really do.

I quit baseball a few more years later, around fifth grade, because like I said before, I was not a very athletic kid, and I was not good at baseball. I could draw a walk because I had a habit of jumping out of the box at anything that looked slightly wild, which then meant I couldn’t swing (and miss). I think I recorded one hit during my years facing live pitching and my career highlight was getting to play catcher one day and throwing a kid out who tried to steal third. He might have tripped.

Anyway, all that’s to say that while I was never any good at the game, I’ve always loved it and the news that the Old North State League was bringing back the Sanford Spinners was pretty exciting for me. I didn’t grow up in Sanford, but even if I did, the Spinners would have been way ahead of my time.

But it’s hard to overstate how cool it is to have a local team, even if at “just” the collegiate summer league level, which is very, very hard for a player to reach (an aside to explain the quotation marks around the word “just”: I keep a baseball card on my fridge of a guy named Pat Perry). 

This was the nicest thing some copywriter could think of to say about poor Pat Perry.

Pat Perry “suffered a lot of baseball rejection in his 13 year professional career,” according to the card, which also details a staggering number of consecutive failures, injuries, and outright insults. Still, Pat Perry made it to the major leagues and as such is among the very best to ever play the game. (Perspective, gang!).

If you don’t like baseball, I guess this column isn’t for you. But if you do, give the Spinners a shot. It’s cheap, it’s fun, and frankly, it’s a new selling point for a small city that’s racking up new selling points at a pretty fast pace. In a few years you’ll be glad you got in on the ground floor.

After quitting baseball, Gordon Anderson studied professional wrestling under Canadian legend Stu Hart. After suffering a VERY painful hangnail, he quit and helped found The Rant. Email him at gordon@rantnc.com.