Recently while speaking at Georgetown University, I engaged with a fellow baby boomer.
It didn't take long for the subject to turn to sports, and the great memories associated with them.
We both began to talk about the great Micky Mantle, the iconic star of the New York Yankees. He described how his father would take him to Yankee Stadium, where they would watch Micky Mantle roam center field for the Bronx Bombers.
When it comes to baby boomers and sports, it's often the shared experience that makes their memories so special.
I can recall Jack Nicklaus making his historic run in 1986 to win his sixth green jacket at the age of 46.
This historic event came to mind once again as I watched Tiger Woods, at age 43, win the 2019 Masters. Baby boomers have been fortunate to see many great golfers, but Tiger Woods can do things on a golf course like no other. He combines the charisma of Arnold Palmer with the competitiveness of Gary Player.
We, in the baby boom age-range, are fortunate to be able to say that we saw them all play.
If you spend any time in Boston, or around Bostonians, then you are not too far away from sports dialogue. For example, if you are a basketball fan, you can probably recall the great teams of your youth.
The Boston Celtics come to mind. With Bill Russell, they were truly a dynasty.
Their coach, the great Red Auerbach, was ahead of his time as a leader of men.
Spending time in Boston in the 1980s, one was privileged to witness the greatness of Larry Bird; when Boston Celtics games were indeed "appointment TV."
What is it about sports that can make fast friends out of strangers, simply because of the shared experience of recalling a game, a player, or a sports moment in time?
When I was a boy growing up, I was a true blue baseball fan — I loved it!
I could listen to every inning of every game on my transistor radio. I loved the feeling of going to the game, looking out at the diamond, and seeing the green grass.
As baby boomers, we remain lucky enough to live in a world where the simple experience of watching sports is still a thrill. Maybe that's why sports moments stay with us, and why when we encounter a fellow baby boomer, we can recall seeing Sandy Koufax pitch for the Dodgers.
Sports and baby boomers truly go together.
Rick Bava founded and was CEO of the Bava Group, which became the premier communications consulting firm serving the Fortune 500 community. Bava became known for his popular blog columns "Rick Bava on the Baby Boomer Generation." He is the author of "In Search of the Baby Boomer Generation." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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