JV Sport Shots .Com About Me; by John Ventola
I came by my love of sports very honestly. An only child of a walking sports almanac (my dad), I started attending collegiate and professional games as a five-year-old. He would patiently explain the finer points of whatever sport we were watching and I learned to please him while simultaneously grasping the strategy and nuances of the event.
What I appreciate decades later is he never pushed me into anything, taught me sportsmanship, and with my mother (who could hold her own in discussing baseball, football, basketball, and gymnastics) allowed me to develop my love of various sports.
Looking back now, I can remember when there were only 16 total major league teams, eight in each league (now there are thirty, fifteen in each league), the original NFL only had two teams west of the Mississippi River, and the NBA was predominately a Northeast/Midwest area league. I learned early math by figuring out batting averages, earned run averages.
Yes, I became Baseball Almanac Jr.
I was blessed to be raised in a city with an excellent sports department (Baton Rouge Morning Advocate) because intense television coverage had not yet occurred and the internet and other social media had not been rationalized, much less created. That morning paper, The Sporting News, my dad, and a few televised weekend games were my teachers, my extracurricular lifelines.
Fortunate to play sports as a youngster, teenager, and young man, I participated in high school baseball and basketball and collegiate baseball. Being a teammate and part of a cohesive, winning unit was a tremendous feeling. I learned to appreciate effort, work ethic, coaching strategy, and sportsmanship while challenging myself as a person and an athlete.
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