Archive for July 14, 2010

Four Strikes and He’s Gross

Baseball is kind of a big deal right now. The World Cup is over so all soccer chatter can stop, Lebron is done wasting everyone’s time with ridiculous ESPN specials, college football hasn’t started yet. Right now, it’s all about America’s Favorite Pastime.

I’m sad to say that baseball has taken a backseat in my life since I was in high school and college. Gone is the girl who’d watch every Astros game. Gone is the girl who memorized the University of Texas roster. Gone is the girl who could remember stats and heights and relationship status and socks up versus socks down. I’m no longer that girl. Life happened. A boy came along and took my attention, then work came along and took my free time.

Now don’t get me wrong. I still hold on to that deep love of the game. You can’t lose that. I still love the crack of the bat, the stitches on a ball, the contrast of the chalk line on the dirt. I love the game to my very core, I just don’t obsess anymore.

I come from a line of baseball lovers. My Papa loves the game and instilled that love to two of his three daughters… one of them being my mom. From a young age I loved watching baseball. Maybe at the beginning it started out more as a love for Sour Powers and snow cones during my brother’s little leagues games. Regardless, I loved to be at the game just like my mom.

Every year my mom buys about 4 tickets to a few Astros games throughout the season. Just enough to get her fill. I don’t know if you’ve heard or not but the Astros aren’t doing so hot this season. They lose a lot. So when she realized that she had tickets to the game last Sunday when the Astros took on the Cardinals, she decided she’d rather not go. So she gifted her tickets to her poor daughter.

I debated going. Do I really want to see Pujols and Holliday destroy my team? Not really. Do I really want to see Berkman hang his head after a disappointing at bat? Not really. But I went because I’m not a fair weather fan. Because even bad baseball is still baseball. And because I love ballpark food. After church on Sunday, we loaded in the car with another couple and headed to the Juice Box. (Our field is called Minute Maid Park… so it’s nickname is the Juice Box. Clever? A little bit.)

It was hot, I was hot. But we settled into our seats with our BBQ baked potatoes and throwback souvenir cups and enjoyed ourselves. It was an exciting game. Not because the Astros were on fire or it was a high intensity game. No. It was the randomness that kept us going.

Now I’ve been to several hundred baseball games so I’m no stranger to weird events and “Wow, that doesn’t happen often” plays, but even I thought this was odd. Throughout the 9 inning game, there were 4 broken bats. FOUR. And you better believe I yelled “CORK” after the first two broke. So the first one broke and it was cool. I love seeing bats break. Then another broke and I said, “Wow! Two broken bats in one game. That’s rare!” And then, the mother of all broken bats. Some dude named Jon Jay (who names their son that?) hit a ball and his bat broke in half. I imagine he was still holding the handle while the top portion flew off. Where did it fly? Into the stands. We were located behind the dugout along the first base line. AKA: The Death Zone. We see this giant portion of a bat coming our way, spinning and seemingly gaining momentum. First we see the dull end and then as it spins around, the sharp splinter. Over and over. It looked like it was going to spear someone.

Then about 20 feet in front of us, it stops. A mob of people had tried to catch it and someone got ahold of it. But not without a good piercing to the foot. We tried to concentrate the next two innings but it was difficult with the first aid people cleaning up the wound (that we never actually got to see). Several fans walked down to look and take pictures. My friends, it was exciting. Three broken bats and one of them came into the stands! And then, when we weren’t even ready for it, Lance Berkman is up to bat and he swings for the fences, misses the ball, and flings his bat into the stands. It flew up at least 20 rows. I’m telling you, next time I’m wearing pads to the game.

There was one more broken bat later in the game but we had a hard time focusing at that point. It was old news. Yeah yeah, so it’s a broken bat. Look how small those shards are! And they all stayed on the field. LAME. It would take much more to entertain us at this point. Thankfully I brought along my super observant husband to keep his eyes out. Guess what he spotted? (Click on the picture if you need it to be bigger.)

Do you see? Look right there between the girl in the white shirt and the guy in the Pujols jersey. See that man in the maroon? THE MOTHER OF ALL MULLETS. I have never seen a mullet of that size in real life. I am sad to say that he wasn’t wearing jorts, just regular dark jeans with no fading or wash of any type. I was in awe. I texted the photo out to a few people I knew would appreciate it. I stared. I snickered. I was thankful there was a buffer zone between me and The Mullet.

So I suggest you head over to your local ballpark and catch a game. Maybe your team is well below .500 and there is a slim chance they’ll show you a good game, but there are always other things to look for at the game. And we all know it would be a tragedy to miss out on a mullet like that.

July 14, 2010 at 8:57 am 15 comments


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