Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Deeply disappointed...

...to attend a baseball game at the Great American Ball Park, hosted by the Cincinnati Reds, the so-called "Royalty of Baseball," the oldest team in major league baseball, established in 1869, that's four years after the end of the Civil War, the first team to host a night game under the lights, and be subjected to the same slew of asinine between-inning "promotions" and contests, not to mention the pre-game cheerleaders...
...and the made-up "mascot" Gapper that you might find at a Tampa Bay Devil Rays "game." Even the hydrocephalic yet strangely magnetic Mr. Red...

...was relegated to driving an ATV around the warning track in the pre-game gloaming. The fact that we visited the excellent Cinti Reds Hall of Fame and Museum before the game made the actual game experience all the more poignant.

Nice enough park, though, but as a replacement for a riverside concrete doughnut, nothing can compare with Pittsburgh's PNC Park, where we saw a Pirates-Brewers pitching duel in July 2001. Too bad the Pirates should be relegated, European soccer-league style, to the minor leagues, along with my boyhood idols the Kansas City Royals. (Calls to mind the time that I watched, alone, in my Hutchinson, Kansas basement, Chris Chambliss end the Royals' inspired 1976 playoff run with a toilet-paper festooned walk-off home run in Yankee Stadium.)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's a shame about the Reds -- I always thought it was a cool tradition when they got to open the season first every year as a token to their seniority. Unless there's a pig carrying out baseballs or Birdzerk, there's no room at the major league level for between-inning promotions. Soy oil night is okay too, though, I guess.

I remember the Chambliss homer, too. But not watching it. Either because of the Eastern time zone or stricter parents, I had to go to bed at 9 pm. When the Yanks were in the playoffs, my dad would write the final score (sometimes with commentary) on a card and leave it by my bed, and I would wake up and see what happened. Funny, huh?

Chris Hartman said...

It actually is a bit strange that I remember seeing that game as well. I can't swear to it, but as of now I believe I saw it real-time. According to Wikipedia (my source for all non-nuclear-physics data), Game 5 was Thursday, October 14, 1976, but I'm not sure when it ended. Maybe playoff games in the 1970s still started at 7 pm Eastern... that would be 6 pm Central...assuming a three-hour game, 9 pm would have been about the outer limit for bed time for me at that time...in the second grade...but who knows....there may have been a special dispensation due to the playoffs.

As for GABP promotions, believe me, if there had been a pig or any other barnyard animal delivering baseballs, and/or a member of Birdzerk (esp. Harry Canary) providing inter-inning entertainment, I would have been the first to prostate myself before it like the original cargo-cult member.

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