Steve Nerland became a baseball fan when he was 13 or 14 and his family moved from Fairbanks to Anchorage in the 1960s. Now 70, Nerland remembers forging a connection with the game through the Armed Forces Radio Network, which served Fort Richardson and Elmendorf Air Force Base.
“They broadcast a game of the day from different venues,” he said, “… and I started listening to baseball.”
Fast forward one generation, replace AM radio with cable TV, and the game captures the love of another Nerland boy.
“I can just remember growing up, he had SportsCenter on and ESPN on all the time,” 38-year-old Taylor Nerland said. “As a kid you kind of rebelled a little bit against it — ‘Aghh, SportsCenter again’ — but I’d find myself at the kitchen table watching highlights at 10 o’clock before going to bed. You find yourself wanting to see more.”