Have I told you how much I love minor league baseball? No? Maybe not this season but if you have been coming around for more than one summer, you will know its true, I love watching minor league baseball. Our team in Ogden is the Raptors and they are the rookie affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. And since they are in a rookie league, their season starts late and ends early. The Raptors opening home game was just last Friday night.
I of course had 4 tickets for opening night and they were shared with the BSU, My Friend Vickie and her mother, Barbara. Barbara's a big baseball fan and just recently relocated to Utah after being a New York resident and Yankees fan most of her life. Vickie jumped through more hoops than Siegfried & Roy's tigers to get the full season of Yankees baseball beamed into her house for her mom's viewing pleasure. Because Barbara's elderly, she's also not able to walk great distances so when she goes out, Vickie pushes her in a wheelchair. The wheelchair meant that the 4 of us wouldn't be able to sit in the regular box seats and so 3 of us sat in plastic lawn chairs and we all sat above the top row of seats in the wheelchair seating area. That seating turned out to be really terrific for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that there were no other fans trooping in and out for beer or hot dogs crossing over our toes. We were able to spread our chairs out a little bit, turn them so we could converse easier and catch all the breeze that blew through under the overhang. The seating area was really hot for a little while as we had the sun our necks as the stadium's sun screens weren't installed yet but once the sun went down just a little bit the seating spot became absolutely optimal. Except for the fireworks- we couldn't see most of the fireworks after the game because we were too far under the overhang. I gotta talk to the Raptors front office about that shortcoming...
Anyway, it was a perfect summer night at the ballpark. The Raptors played very well and beat the Casper Rockies 13-8, including a grand slam homerun. The weather was perfect, the beer was cold and as I mentioned, we had great seats in a sell-out crowd. I had only sat down with my first beer and my family and friends and I was totally at peace. There's just something about the tradition of the game, the field preparations, the National Anthem played over the PA system and sung by a large portion of the crowd, the youngsters attending with parents or grandparents, clutching a new pennant or miniature bat that all comes together to create a perfect Friday night. Its all just so Norman Rockwell and somehow, to me, it represents all that's good and right in America.
Barbara, in spite of missing her Yankees playing on the television seemed to really enjoy herself and she loved the up-close view that is typical of such a small stadium as Lindquist Field. She seemed genuinely pleased to be able to get out and see a game surrounded by fans and the sights, sounds and smell of the ball park. I'm pretty certain she and Vickie will be attending lots of games with us throughout this summer.
Next game: Sunday, Monday or Tuesday next week. I better go buy some tickets!