Obsession and Reckless Consumption

Talk about getting this boy excited.

I wake up yesterday, tromp out to the lawn to pick up the Sunday papers, sit with coffee by my side and open the my favorite Sunday reading material. And what do I see? An article that brings together two of my favorite things in life: Baseball and wine.

There in my Sunday paper is an article about Tom "Terrific" Seaver, one of the best pitcher to ever throw a baseball and, apparently a grapegrower and winemaker in Napa Valley.

If you you are not a baseball fan, particularly a fan of baseball history, you can probably move on to another spot on the Internet and feel you’ve lost nothing. Because I’m about to gush.

First, I had no Idea that one of the greatest pitchers to ever hold a baseball was also a grapegrower ands soon to be winemaker. Apparently about 8 years ago Seaver purchases about 115 acres on Diamond Mountain in the northern Napa Valley, a region famous for it’s Cabernet. Seaver found a south facing hillside on his property, called Vineyard Consultant extraordinaire Jim Barbour and put down the vineyard Seaver had apparently been looking forward to creating for more than 30 years.

So, here’s a little insight into me. I’ll buy this wine sight unseen. I don’t personally care if it is any good or if it costs $100. What we are talking about is a kind of reverential appreciation for a guy that provokes one to spend money simply to be closer to him. It’s sort of the same thing that happens to those folks who buy every last item they can find about a particular movie star they idolize. Only my reverence makes sense. Consider…

-3 time Cy Young Award Winner
-First Ballot Hall of Famer
-National League Strikeout Record for a Right Handed Pitcher
-Set the Record for the lowest ERA
-Struck out 200 or more batters in 10 Times

And now he’s making wine?  Is he just trying to tease me?

It’s a strange thing, isn’t it. The way some folks will become another person’s best customer based not on the quality of what they are selling but due to the connection you feel toward them. I’m not much of a collector. I have my obsessions. But they aren’t the kind that lead me to consume recklessly. But this compulsion to want to purchase something due simply to some connection you feel you have to someone is a powerful thing. It’s the reason and science behind celebrity endorsements. It’s also why wineries are, or should be, very careful who they have in their tasting rooms. You never know when a visitor will feel a strong connection to the person pouring them their sample of Cabernet and become their best customers.

Tom Seaver’s wine is expected to be released in 2008. I wonder if he needs a wine publicist.

3 Responses

  1. Ryan Scott - October 30, 2006

    I was going to suggest you try to become his publicist…

  2. winehiker - November 1, 2006

    There’s something to be said about the (still) great American pastime, especially when it provides metaphor for so much of Life. (Examples abound on the ‘Net, so I’ll leave that to readers.) Plus, one can always enjoy baseball with a good glass of Bordeaux-style in hand.
    After learning to say “Mommy” and “Daddy” as a young child, the next coherent utterance to come out of my mouth was “Willie Mays”.
    Funny, I was going to start a website called “californiawinebaseball.com,” but it just never got past the focus group….

  3. tom - November 1, 2006

    To this day one of my fondest memories is sitting in the stands with my dad watching Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marishal, Tito Fuentes and the rest of them.
    My father would bring a flask of brandy and I’d have my canister of hot chocolate and we’d cheer our faces off….except when the Reds came to town….Then Dad had to cheer for his home town team.

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