The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

April 8, 2014

There was no escaping being a baseball fanatic

In 11 days, I will reach a milestone in my life: The big 4-0, or as I have jokingly referred to it, the beginning of the end.

I admit, I’m struggling with it. There’s no logical reason for my apprehension, an uneasiness that I am sure many men have felt. It is, after all, just a number — 40. Still, a little part of me just can’t help but cringe a little when a high school athlete calls me “sir” or “Mr. Fauber.”

Then again, I have always believed that I was born in April 1974 for a reason.

Anyone who truly knows me knows that I am a baseball nut. If I didn’t have a wife and kids, I would probably try to hibernate from December until the start of baseball season.

My fascination with the sport started just days before I turned 8. The Atlanta Braves were dubbed “America’s Team” by Superstation TBS, which did make the team a sensation with its national broadcasts. I was totally susceptible; all my friends were getting into sports, so I adopted baseball and the Braves as my outlet to the sports world.

I was immediately hooked. The Braves started that 1982 season by winning their first 13 games. I had no clue what was going on, but it seemed every time I turned the channel to TBS, the Braves were winning again.

A love affair between a goofy 8-year-old boy and the greatest game God ever created was born, partially slowed only by the inevitable responsibilities of adulthood.

I am a Braves fan, so by that association, I am a fan of the great Hank Aaron. Forty years ago today, Aaron — the Hall of Fame outfielder for the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves before finishing his career back in Milwaukee with the Brewers — realized his destiny when he surpassed Yankees legend Babe Ruth to become baseball’s home run king.

I wasn’t quite born to hear Milo Hamilton’s historic call of Aaron’s 715th career homer — “There’s a new home run champion of all time, and it’s Henry Aaron!” — but I actually bought a recording of that game against the Los Angeles Dodgers from April 8, 1974, and listened to every run and every out.

(Sick? Maybe. So what?)

And how old was Hammerin’ Hank when he broke baseball’s most hallowed record?

Yep — 40.

I guess some things are just meant to be.

— E-mail: and follow on Twitter @GaryFauber.

Text Only
Latest Sports
  • WVU rifle coach competing in native Scotland

    West Virginia University rifle coach John Hammond is competing in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in his native Scotland.

    July 24, 2014

  • 072414 WV Open.jpg Familiarity with Cobb helps Hess take lead

    It wouldn’t be a stretch to say Kenny Hess is comfortable playing the Cobb Course at Glade Springs Resort.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Golf and motocross are Jude’s passions

    Motocross and golf have very little in common.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVU’s Worley clear starter at cornerback

    There were few bright spots in West Virginia University’s 4-8 football campaign last year, and even fewer on the defensive side of the football, where the Mountaineers gave up more than 455 yards and 33 points per game.

    July 24, 2014

  • How to discover and love Major League Soccer

    When I began my soccer fandom following a missions trip to Brazil in 2000, I didn’t know what my next step was. I knew I loved watching the game, but there weren’t a lot of options for seeing it in the U.S. I knew of Major League Soccer — mostly from my friend and current FC Dallas beat writer Drew Epperley — but it was hard to find.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holgorsen to appear on ESPN special

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen will appear Wednesday on ESPN’s annual mid-summer college football coaches’ “car wash” — in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 brand Bradshaw or the field?

    If a betting window were set up on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs for the 81st West Virginia Open Championship, which begins at 8 a.m. this morning, the most popular wager would probably be David Bradshaw against the field.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holgorsen: WVU getting comfortable in new league

    Dana Holgorsen remembers the glory days of West Virginia University football — the ones that included conference championships and BCS bowl wins. In fact, he was part of one of those, leading the Mountaineers to a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory in his first season as head coach in 2011.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 justice Home sweet home away from home

    When Greenbrier owner Jim Justice was handed a copy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch Sunday, his eyes lit up like a Rockefeller Center Christmas tree on a cold December night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp