Wednesday, June 04, 2014

take me out to the (local) ballgame

Last evening, I watched the first-place Syracuse Chiefs (with Emmanuel Burriss) defeat the first-place Indianapolis Indians. Bucs prospect Gregory Polanco contributed a defensive gem, crashing into the wall in right field. Lucky if 2,000 fans were there. A summer shower lasted through most of one inning. The umpires let the players keep playing. Sunlight and rain, then the rainbow over right. Gorgeous. I went to the game on a whim. Ended up meeting baseball author Hart Seely and former Syracuse mayoral candidate Pat Hogan, of Tipp Hill. Macdog and others provided updates of the Giants’ loss. Hart, Hogan, former Post-Standard photog Jim Commentucci, “Doc,” and I settled ourselves directly in back of the visitors’ bullpen. We did not taunt them. The pitchers and catcher or two in waiting talked and restlessly fooled around; some drank Red Bull. Some spat. The five of us fans traded baseball stories, with direct or one-step-removed stories of Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax, Steve Carlton, Don Drysdale, Whitey Herzog, Willie Mays, Tommy Fecking Lasorda, Vin Scully, Cookie Lavagetto, Willie Horton, Ben Gazzara, Dan Valenti, Jackie Robinson, Branch Rickey, and others. It was brilliant. One of the best times I’ve ever had at a ballgame. Laid-back, witty, conversational — and the home-team wins, almost as an afterthought.

This will never happen again.

Not in exactly the same way.

That's the glory of it; that's the story of it.

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