I hated hot dogs when I was a kid. It was weird, because like any good little Italian girl, I regularly ate bitter greens like arugula and escarole, but I couldn't stand the taste of a perfectly charred Nathan's with mustard. So when we went to the ballpark, my Grammy Carmen would fry up a batch of her famous chicken and bring it along in a picnic basket.
This was circa 1984, and I remember sitting on the wall of the old, tan concrete dugout, one leg in and one leg out, with a chicken leg in one hand and my little Spalding on the other, because Grampa wouldn't let me sit in foul-ball territory without a glove. I loved watching Grampa hold court behind the batting cage and longed to know exactly what secrets he was dispensing. I loved Big Dave Winfield and his flip-up sunglasses, and I loved running through the tunnel -- all cool, dark and damp -- into that explosion of green light out on the field. In my head, today, that's what it must have been like when Grampa showed up in heaven.
Lindsay Berra is the granddaughter of Yogi Berra and a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.