May 31, 2007

The Magic of Minor League Baseball

So far this season...

Had the owner of the team come into the stands to shake hands and say "hello, thanks for coming" to every single person there. He even sat with some folks for a while, talking about things that could be improved at the ballpark.

After one evening game, as we walked back to the car we passed a guy in full kit, standing in the dark of the parking lot playing the bagpipes.

During a mid-week evening game - attendance less than 300 - we watched as the ushers made sure that every single kid in the stadium got a foul ball during the game.

Monday's are dollar night. Ticket to the grandstand, a buck. Hot dog, a buck. Not cheap dogs either, these are Hebrew National franks.

The astoundingly good fireworks after Saturday night games.

Hearing an announcement that goes something like, "Would the owner of a blue Honda Accent, license plate ABC-123 please report to the customer service booth... because you've got THE DIRTIEST CAR IN THE PARKING LOT!!!" They win a deluxe car wash from a local business. It's done every game, and I laugh like hell every time.

Cheering every game when the home team takes the field before the National Anthem, who are then joined by the players from one of the local little league teams.

The various renditions of the National Anthem. Not that bad, not that good (to quote Alabama). Once by an elementary school choir, another time by Miss Blue Ridge Mountains or some such. Got a lump in my throat when she dedicated the song to her dad, who was a reservist leaving for Afghanistan in a couple of weeks.

Singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game for the seventh inning stretch, followed by the theme song from SpongeBob Square Pants. I'm getting to know those words, too.

Dozens of little kids in their little league uniforms scrambling for every foul ball.

Watching pre-game warmups to various baseball-related songs interspersed with comedy bits like Abbot and Costello's classic Who's On First?

Baseball, played by guys who love the game. They're not getting rich at this level, and the odds are that they'll never get to the big show, but they hustle and play hard every single play.

Rocket Jones Recommendation: Try it, you might love it.

Posted by Ted at May 31, 2007 05:49 PM | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

Even way up here in Triple A (we're in the Rangers organization), it seems to be more fun per $ than the majors. The 'Hawks draw about 6500, maybe 7000 a game, and it's still got something of a hometown feel to it despite the stadium being just east of downtown and surrounded by eateries (and, you may be sure, drinkeries).

Posted by: CGHill at May 31, 2007 06:52 PM

Hey, the way things are going, the pitchers could be at RFK by the 4th of July!

Are you still interested in the game in Frederick on the 16th?

Posted by: nic at May 31, 2007 07:36 PM

We are planning on being there, with rings on my fingers and bells on my wheelchair....Bunny

Posted by: Bunny at May 31, 2007 09:05 PM

In pre-season, they have things like "Bring Your Dog" Night. We've never attended though, because Her Royal Dogliness would be pulling us all over the stands vacuuming for fallen peanuts and snatching hot dogs from crying children.

Posted by: dogette at June 1, 2007 07:16 AM

And you didn't chat up the owner about the idea of launching rockets during the pregame show? For shame! I did that a few times for the Rochester Redwings back in the Seventies and it was great fun.

Posted by: Doug Pratt at June 1, 2007 09:50 AM

How about a mass launch, where the kids who catch the rockets (on parachutes of course) get to keep them, and some rockets have free tickets or coupons as payloads?

Posted by: Doug Pratt at June 1, 2007 09:52 AM

I could easily win the dirtiest car contest. I live on a dirt road. Well, my house is next to a dirt road. I don't actually live *on* the road.

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