Saturday, May 09, 2009

The old ball game

Football has probably usurped baseball as America's pastime, but it remains my favorite of all the sports. I thought about driving to Cincinnati on Friday to see that night's Reds-Cardinals game, but the weather forecast scared me off. If I were going to drive almost two hours to attend a game, I would prefer not to encounter a cancellation, a long rain delay, or sitting in precipitation. Although the pitcher I preferred to see was throwing on Friday, I decided to hold out until the supposedly better weather on Saturday.

I made the right choice. Today was a perfect day to be at the ballpark. The sun was out, but there was no humidity and just a hint of coolness. I was never uncomfortable in short sleeves. When the game concluded at 9:45 p.m., the temperature was 60 degrees.

I got in the car around 1:40 p.m. to have plenty of time to make the drive south. It's a good thing I got to the stadium early because the gorgeous day brought the fans out of the woodwork. The game was the first sellout since opening day, which is always a tough ticket to get. Maybe it was the bobblehead giveaway that brought people to the game, but more likely it was due to the fact that days like this were meant to be enjoyed outside doing anything. A ballgame is a pretty good option.

The Reds have added an enormous new high definition scoreboard since I last came to a game. When I read about it, my initial thought was to grumble that the team sunk money into it rather than, oh, signing a right handed power hitting free agent. Having seen it in action, I must say that it enhances the experience of being at the game.

Watching batting practice was a pleasure. St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols smacked some mammoth shots in a dazzling display of hitting prowess. Luckily he did nothing of that sort during the game.

My perch, second row in a view level box almost directly behind home plate, was a terrific spot to catch all the intricacies of the game. The field was laid out in front of me for watching how the defense positions itself, what kind of command the pitchers have, and how the plays develop. Of course, that's all well and good, but a day at the ballpark isn't complete without a Reds win too.

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At 7:56 AM, Anonymous LittleWit said...

Looks like a marvelous day. :)


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