STEEEERIKE 3 YER OUT! Actually, I think this guy hit the ball. Doesn’t matter. One of my favorite things to watch is baseball. It is almost as boring as cricket, and just as exciting too. The sport is just fraught with contradictions. We love our losing teams as much as our winning ones. Tom and I headed off to beautiful PacBell Park for a game as soon as we could snag a couple tickets.
For all the American readers, baseball just is, and I’m talking about nuttin’. For everybody else, baseball just IS! And it is SUMTHIN’!
When you first get to the stadium-by-the sea, you see a statue of the great Willie Mays.
Here he is as a young man. Willie Howard Mays, Jr. (born May 6, 1931 is a retired American baseball player who played the majority of his career with the New York and San Francisco Giants before finishing with the New York Mets. Nicknamed The Say Hey Kid, Mays was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979, his first year of eligibility. Many consider him to be the greatest all-around player of all time.
I am kinda old, so I remember him very well. He was one of my favorite players.
PacBell Park is amazing. It is right on the water. The fans’ favorite? A hit over the wall right into the Bay. People in boats wait and dive in and retrieve the home run balls. Wonderful, a home run and lots of fun on the instant replay screen. That water is cold. It’s fun even if the guy who hit the ball is from the other team. Yes, this is a giant Coke bottle. Why? I don’t know. Think of it as pop art. Andy Warhol, eat your heart out. It lights up for night games–woo hoo!
Lots of people imagine the whole of California to be bright, sunny, and warm all the time. Hmmm. They are wrong. The weather in San Francisco is much colder than other parts of the state, especially on the water; like PacBell Park. You can be out in the bright sun and still freeze your buns off. This occasion, Tom got us tickets by home plate, unshaded and perfect for photos. I had the uncomfortable experience of being too cold and too hot at the same time! I had to move from the sun to the shade. There I was, cowering and shivering in my sweaters, or boiling under my hat. Tom got great photos though.
Here’s a fun one of Randy Johnson, a future Hall-of-Famer. Used to pitch for the Twinkies (Minnesota Twins) our other favorite team.
What to do at the game? Eat. Eat, and eat. Talk to your friends, and have another beer, or wine, in my case. Yes, here in California, they have a wine bar. Outstanding. We also get to sing. At the beginning, we sing the national anthem. Actually, some professional singer usually does this, because the American National Anthem is too hard for a normal and sober person. We get to mutter along, dropping out during the high notes. We come into our own during the 7th inning stretch where we sing “Take me out to the Ball game”. Americans have been singing this at games for a hundred years.
Have a listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XinybyWAzc
Next time you’re in town, let me take you out to the ball game.