On the bus ride to the game, I met Austin. I'm not sure how we got to talking, but when he learned that I knew practically nothing about baseball he made it his mission to teach me.
During the 2+ hour game, he answered all of my questions with a smile-- explaining everything from what all the stats meant on the board to the history behind a player who was being booed as he came up to bat. That night, as most Chicago nights are, it was quite cold. We all huddled under a blanket, ate hotdogs, and enjoyed the game.
I couldn't tell you if the Sox won or lost that night-- all I remember is laughing and talking with everyone. Specifically, Austin. He was very easy to talk to. His laugh was genuine and his words were sincere. He was very passionate. He was very patient. He was very bright.
We kept talking as we made our way back and it turned out he knew the town I was from. This was the first time someone from UChicago had heard of Terre Haute, IN. Strangely enough, he even knew my high school and asked if I knew a particular student who went there. I certainly did-- it was my boyfriend. Austin laughed and commented that it's a small world. It turns out they competed against each other in Science Bowl nationals. He talked about him fondly and asked me to tell him he hoped he was doing well. I did. And that's the last thing I remember about that night.
Thanks for teaching me about baseball, Austin.